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Category Archives: Human Genetic Engineering

2 Plays From Catalyst: A Theatre Think Tank – UC Davis

The Department of Theatre and Dance and Catalyst: A Theatre Think Tank, a launching pad for new works, raise the remote curtain this week on two productions examining diverse contemporary themes.

Jonathan Luskin, whose Kill the Wabbit was workshopped at UC Davis in 2018, is back with Perfect, three interwoven stories exploring the boundless desire for flawless children and the impossibility of objectively defining what that means.

Perfect

A Bee in a Jar

Catalyst productions may contain adult situations and language.

Six actors portray 13 characters, including a cell biologist and her brilliant, wheelchair-using son who discover their research is being used to clean disabilities from the human genome; and a young couple who turn to an app to design the perfect child. They will present the play as an informal reading at 6 p.m. Wednesday (Feb. 17).

Perfectis directed by alumnaJanLee Marshall(M.F.A, dramatic art, 15) and features actor Danny Gomez, recipient of the 2020 Media Access Award, which recognizes depictions of disability that are accurate, inclusive and multifaceted. The cast also includes undergraduate students Sophie Brubaker, Cheryl Kuo, Kyle Nagasawa and Aubrey Schoeman. Undergraduate student Sam Votrian is the stage manager.

In A Bee in a Jar by Andrew Nichols, three men with very different temperaments try to figure out why they were seized a month earlier and locked together in a featureless room. The play will be performed at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday (Feb. 19 and 20).

Nicholls is a television writer and author who has worked on The Tonight Show and numerous Nickelodeon shows. He is the author of the recently published Comedy Writer: Craft Advice From a Veteran of Sitcoms, Sketch, Animation, Late Night, Print and Stage Comedy. His play {LOVE/logic} was staged at UC Davis in 2019.

Theatre and television actor Laura Hall, who appeared on Broadway in Wonderland and in the national tour of the revival of Pippin, is the director. She has recently relocated from New York to Sacramento County.

The cast includes alumni Jordan Brownlee (B.A., cinema and digital media, 20), Nate Challis (B.A., theatre and dance, 20) and Noah VanderVeer-Harris (B.A., theatre and dance, 20), as well as undergraduate studentsErolina Kamburova andHailey Peterson. Undergraduate studentShachar-Lee Yaakobovitz is the stage manager.

As a virtual new works festival this year, Catalysts online process allows actors and creative teams to collaborate from various locations across time zones.

Broadway veteran Mindy Cooper, professor of theatre and dance, and Lisa Quoresimo (Ph.D., performance studies, 18) are co-founders of Catalyst.

The Department of Theatre and Dance is producing the 2020-21 Catalyst season with support from the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, Bike City Theatre Company, Southern Utah University and San Francisco Youth Theatre.

Follow Dateline UC Davis on Twitter.

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Viewpoint: Promoting science with ideology Pro-GMO vegans use animal rights advocacy to boost vaccine, biotech acceptance – Genetic Literacy Project

The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us that we are part of a living, evolving ecosystem and often at its mercy. Despite all our accomplishments as a species, a virus accidentally unleashed on the world has wrought enormous destruction around the globe, the effects of which we probably will not be able to fully assess for many years. Although we cannot always anticipate the damage an infectious disease will do, our best bet at surviving the fallout is a commitment to science-based policies that fuel the development of better preventative strategies, most importantly vaccines. The same lesson extends to most environmental and public health challenges we face.

To many people, though, a vaccine isnt a biological roadblock to the spread of infectious disease, but a scheme hatched by Big Pharma and their stooges in government to control humanity. Its appropriate to maintain some skepticism of corporations and the governments that regulate them, indeed such critical thinking should be encouraged among consumers. Nevertheless, healthy skepticism and cynicism are not the same, and people must learn to distinguish the two if we are going to make progress in our never-ending battle against infectious disease and other maladies that threaten humanity.

While this sometimes seems like an impossible task to science advocates, the pro-GMO vegan community has illustrated how people with deep ideological commitments can embrace science, specifically crop biotechnology and vaccines, without compromising their personal beliefs.

If you want to convince someone to change their mind on a controversial issue, dont attack their worldview, which all but guarantees they will dismiss your arguments as a threat to their identity. This is a lesson Vegan GMO, a small community founded by friends with a passion for animal welfare, has taken to heart. Rather than attack the ideology of their target audience, the group uses their shared beliefs to encourage acceptance of crop biotechnology and vaccines in the broader vegan community.

Vegans sometimes oppose biotechnology because a particular application of the technology may be tested on animals or developed using animal products. This categorizes animals as property to be used for human benefit rather than sentient, living beingsan outlook many vegans find abhorrent.

But vegans do not just make animal-welfare arguments, they often rely on anti-GMO misinformation, like the long-debunked link between consuming GM crops and developing liver and kidney problems. Popular veganism proponents such as retired activist Gary Yourofsky have also latched onto playing God arguments based on the assumption that natural food is better food. God made a tomato perfectly when he created it. Leave it at that, he argued during a 2015 interview. Stop altering tomatoes, stop altering everything on this planet. Its fine the way it was created.

Jayson Merkley, a pro-GMO vegan and fellow at Cornell Universitys Alliance for Science, says the answer to this sort of rhetoric is simple: stop testing GM crops on animals, which is sometimes required before a new product can enter the food supply. This simple change in the GM crop approval process would discourage vegans from repeating pseudo-scientific anti-GMO arguments to defend their position on animal welfare.

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Biotech fit for the Red Planet – Newswise

Newswise NASA, in collaboration with other leading space agencies, aims to send its first human missions to Mars in the early 2030s, while companies like SpaceX may do so even earlier. Astronauts on Mars will need oxygen, water, food, and other consumables. These will need to be sourced from Mars, because importing them from Earth would be impractical in the long term. InFrontiers in Microbiology, scientists show for the first time that Anabaena cyanobacteria can be grown with only local gases, water, and other nutrients and at low pressure. This makes it much easier to develop sustainable biological life support systems.

"Here we show that cyanobacteria can use gases available in the Martian atmosphere, at a low total pressure, as their source of carbon and nitrogen. Under these conditions, cyanobacteria kept their ability to grow in water containing only Mars-like dust and could still be used for feeding other microbes. This could help make long-term missions to Mars sustainable," says lead author Dr Cyprien Verseux, an astrobiologist who heads the Laboratory of Applied Space Microbiology at the Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM) of the University of Bremen, Germany.

Low-pressure atmosphere

Cyanobacteria have long been targeted as candidates to drive biological life support on space missions, as all species produce oxygen through photosynthesis while some can fix atmospheric nitrogen into nutrients. A difficulty is that they cannot grow directly in the Martian atmosphere, where the total pressure is less than 1% of Earth's - 6 to 11 hPa, too low for the presence of liquid water - while the partial pressure of nitrogen gas - 0.2 to 0.3 hPa - is too low for their metabolism. But recreating an Earth-like atmosphere would be expensive: gases would need to be imported, while the culture system would need to be robust - hence, heavy to freight - to resist the pressure differences: "Think of a pressure cooker," Verseux says. So the researchers looked for a middle ground: an atmosphere close to Mars's which allows the cyanobacteria to grow well.

To find suitable atmospheric conditions, Verseux et al. developed a bioreactor called Atmos (for "Atmosphere Tester for Mars-bound Organic Systems"), in which cyanobacteria can be grown in artificial atmospheres at low pressure. Any input must come from the Red Planet itself: apart from nitrogen and carbon dioxide, gases abundant in the Martian atmosphere, and water which could be mined from ice, nutrients should come from "regolith", the dust covering Earth-like planets and moons. Martian regolith has been shown to be rich in nutrients such as phosphorus, sulphur, and calcium.

Anabaena: versatile cyanobacteria grown on Mars-like dust

Atmos has nine 1 L vessels made of glass and steel, each of which is sterile, heated, pressure-controlled, and digitally monitored, while the cultures inside are continuously stirred. The authors chose a strain of nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria called Anabaena sp. PCC 7938, because preliminary tests showed that it would be particularly good at using Martian resources and helping to grow other organisms. Closely related species have been shown to be edible, suitable for genetic engineering, and able to form specialized dormant cells to survive harsh conditions.

Verseux and his colleagues first grew Anabaena for 10 days under a mixture of 96% nitrogen and 4% carbon dioxide at a pressure of 100 hPa - ten times lower than on Earth. The cyanobacteria grew as well as under ambient air. Then they tested the combination of the modified atmosphere with regolith. Because no regolith has ever been brought from Mars, they used a substrate developed by the University of Central Florida (called "Mars Global Simulant") instead to create a growth medium. As controls, Anabaena were grown in standard medium, either at ambient air or under the same low-pressure artificial atmosphere.

The cyanobacteria grew well under all conditions, including in regolith under the nitrogen- and carbon dioxide-rich mixture at low pressure. As expected, they grew faster on standard medium optimized for cyanobacteria than on Mars Global Simulant, under either atmosphere. But this is still a major success: while standard medium would need to be imported from Earth, regolith is ubiquitous on Mars. "We want to use as nutrients resources available on Mars, and only those," says Verseux.

Dried Anabaena biomass was ground, suspended in sterile water, filtered, and successfully used as a substrate for growing of E. coli bacteria, proving that sugars, amino acids, and other nutrients can be extracted from them to feed other bacteria, which are less hardy but tried-and-tested tools for biotechnology. For example, E. coli could be engineered more easily than Anabaena to produce some food products and medicines on Mars that Anabaena cannot.

The researchers conclude that nitrogen-fixing, oxygen-producing cyanobacteria can be efficiently grown on Mars at low pressure under controlled conditions, with exclusively local ingredients.

Further refinements in the pipeline

These results are an important advance. But the authors caution that further studies are necessary: "We want to go from this proof-of-concept to a system that can be used on Mars efficiently," Verseux says. They suggest fine-tuning the combination of pressure, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen optimal for growth, while testing other genera of cyanobacteria, perhaps genetically tailored for space missions. A cultivation system for Mars also needs to be designed:

"Our bioreactor, Atmos, is not the cultivation system we would use on Mars: it is meant to test, on Earth, the conditions we would provide there. But our results will help guide the design of a Martian cultivation system. For example, the lower pressure means that we can develop a more lightweight structure that is more easily freighted, as it won't have to withstand great differences between inside and outside," concludes Verseux.

###

The project was funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

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Outlook on the CRISPR Gene Editing Global Market to 2030 – Analysis and Forecasts – Yahoo Finance

Dublin, Feb. 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The "Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market: Focus on Products, Applications, End Users, Country Data (16 Countries), and Competitive Landscape - Analysis and Forecast, 2020-2030" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.

The global CRISPR gene editing market was valued at $846.2 million in 2019 and is expected to reach $10,825.1 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 26.86% during the forecast.

The development of genome engineering with potential applications proved to reflect a remarkable impact on the future of the healthcare and life science industry. The high efficiency of the CRISPR-Cas9 system has been demonstrated in various studies for genome editing, which resulted in significant investments within the field of genome engineering. However, there are several limitations, which need consideration before clinical applications. Further, many researchers are working on the limitations of CRISPR gene editing technology for better results. The potential of CRISPR gene editing to alter the human genome and modify the disease conditions is incredible but exists with ethical and social concerns.

The growth is attributed to the increasing demand in the food industry for better products with improved quality and nutrient enrichment and the pharmaceutical industry for targeted treatment for various diseases. Further, the continued significant investments by healthcare companies to meet the industry demand and growing prominence for the gene therapy procedures with less turnaround time are the prominent factors propelling the growth of the global CRISPR gene editing market.

Research organizations, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and institutes are looking for more efficient genome editing technologies to increase the specificity and cost-effectiveness, also to reduce turnaround time and human errors. Further, the evolution of genome editing technologies has enabled wide range of applications in various fields, such as industrial biotech and agricultural research. These advanced methods are simple, super-efficient, cost-effective, provide multiplexing, and high throughput capabilities. The increase in the geriatric population and increasing number of cancer cases, and genetic disorders across the globe are expected to translate into significantly higher demand for CRISPR gene editing market.

Story continues

Furthermore, the companies are investing huge amounts in the research and development of CRISPR gene editing products, and gene therapies. The clinical trial landscape of various genetic and chronic diseases has been on the rise in recent years, and this will fuel the CRISPR gene editing market in the future.

Within the research report, the market is segmented based on product type, application, end-user, and region. Each of these segments covers the snapshot of the market over the projected years, the inclination of the market revenue, underlying patterns, and trends by using analytics on the primary and secondary data obtained.

Key Companies Profiled

Abcam, Inc., Applied StemCell, Inc., Agilent Technologies, Inc., Cellecta, Inc., CRISPR Therapeutics AG, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc., GeneCopoeia, Inc., GeneScript Biotech Corporation, Horizon Discovery Group PLC, Integrated DNA Technologies, Inc., Merck KGaA, New England Biolabs, Inc., Origene Technologies, Inc., Rockland Immunochemicals, Inc., Synthego Corporation, System Biosciences LLC, ToolGen, Inc., Takara Bio

Key Questions Answered in this Report:

What is CRISPR gene editing?

What is the timeline for the development of CRISPR technology?

How did the CRISPR gene editing market evolve, and what is its scope in the future?

What are the major market drivers, restraints, and opportunities in the global CRISPR gene editing market?

What are the key developmental strategies that are being implemented by the key players to sustain this market?

What is the patent landscape of this market? What will be the impact of patent expiry on this market?

What is the impact of COVID-19 on this market?

What are the guidelines implemented by different government bodies to regulate the approval of CRISPR products/therapies?

How is CRISPR gene editing being utilized for the development of therapeutics?

How will the investments by public and private companies and government organizations affect the global CRISPR gene editing market?

What was the market size of the leading segments and sub-segments of the global CRISPR gene editing market in 2019?

How will the industry evolve during the forecast period 2020-2030?

What will be the growth rate of the CRISPR gene editing market during the forecast period?

How will each of the segments of the global CRISPR gene editing market grow during the forecast period, and what will be the revenue generated by each of the segments by the end of 2030?

Which product segment and application segment are expected to register the highest CAGR for the global CRISPR gene editing market?

What are the major benefits of the implementation of CRISPR gene editing in different field of applications including biomedical research, agricultural research, industrial research, gene therapy, drug discovery, and diagnostics?

What is the market size of the CRISPR gene editing market in different countries of the world?

Which geographical region is expected to contribute to the highest sales of CRISPR gene editing market?

What are the reimbursement scenario and regulatory structure for the CRISPR gene editing market in different regions?

What are the key strategies incorporated by the players of global CRISPR gene editing market to sustain the competition and retain their supremacy?

Key Topics Covered:

1 Technology Definition

2 Research Scope

3 Research Methodology

4 Market Overview4.1 Introduction4.2 CRISPR Gene Editing Market Approach4.3 Milestones in CRISPR Gene Editing4.4 CRISPR Gene Editing: Delivery Systems4.5 CRISPR Technology: A Potential Tool for Gene Editing4.6 CRISPR Gene Editing Current Scenario4.7 CRISPR Gene Editing Market: Future Potential Application Areas

5 Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market, $Million, 2020-20305.1 Pipeline Analysis5.2 CRISPR Gene Editing Market and Growth Potential, 2020-20305.3 Impact of COVID-19 on CRISPR Gene Editing Market5.3.1 Impact of COVID-19 on Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market Growth Rate5.3.1. Impact on CRISPR Gene Editing Companies5.3.2 Clinical Trial Disruptions and Resumptions5.3.3 Application of CRISPR Gene Editing in COVID-19

6 Market Dynamics6.1 Impact Analysis6.2 Market Drivers6.2.1 Prevalence of Genetic Disorders and Use of Genome Editing6.2.2 Government and Private Funding6.2.3 Technology Advancement in CRISPR Gene Editing6.3 Market Restraints6.3.1 CRISPR Gene Editing: Off Target Effects and Delivery6.3.2 Ethical Concerns and Implications With Respect to Human Genome Editing6.4 Market Opportunities6.4.1 Expanding Gene and Cell Therapy Area6.4.2 CRISPR Gene Editing Scope in Agriculture

7 Industry Insights7.1 Introduction7.2 Funding Scenario7.3 Regulatory Scenario of CRISPR Gene Editing Market7.4 Pricing of CRISPR Gene Editing7.5 Reimbursement of CRISPR Gene Editing7.5.1 CRISPR Gene Editing: Insurance Coverage in the U.S.

8 CRISPR Gene Editing Patent Landscape8.1 Overview8.2 CRISPR Gene Editing Market Patent Landscape: By Application8.3 CRISPR Gene Editing Market Patent Landscape: By Region8.4 CRISPR Gene Editing Market Patent Landscape: By Year

9 Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market (by Product Type), $Million9.1 Overview9.2 CRISPR Products9.2.1 Kits and Enzymes9.2.1.1 Vector-Based Cas99.2.1.2 DNA-Free Cas99.2.2 Libraries9.2.3 Design Tools9.2.4 Antibodies9.2.5 Other Products9.3 CRISPR Services9.3.1 gRNA Design and Vector Construction9.3.2 Cell Line and Engineering9.3.3 Screening Services9.3.4 Other Services

10 CRISPR Gene Editing Market (by Application), $Million10.1 Overview10.2 Agriculture10.3 Biomedical10.3.1 Gene Therapy10.3.2 Drug Discovery10.3.3 Diagnostics10.4 Industrial10.5 Other Applications

11 Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market (by End User)11.1 Academic Institutions and Research Centers11.2 Biotechnology Companies11.3 Contract Research Organizations (CROs)11.4 Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Companies

12 Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market (by Region)12.1 Introduction12.2 North America12.3 Europe12.4 Asia-Pacific12.5 Latin America

13 Competitive Landscape13.1 Key Developments and Strategies13.1.1 Overview13.1.1.1 Regulatory and Legal Developments13.1.1.2 Synergistic Activities13.1.1.3 M&A Activities13.1.1.4 Funding Activities13.2 Market Share Analysis13.3 Growth Share Analysis

14 Company Profiles14.1 Overview14.2 Abcam, Inc.14.2.1 Company Overview14.2.2 Role of Abcam, Inc. in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.2.3 Financials14.2.4 SWOT Analysis14.3 Applied StemCell, Inc.14.3.1 Company Overview14.3.2 Role of Applied StemCell, Inc. in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.3.3 SWOT Analysis14.4 Agilent Technologies, Inc.14.4.1 Company Overview14.4.2 Role of Agilent Technologies, Inc. in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.4.3 Financials14.4.4 R&D Expenditure, 2017-201914.4.5 SWOT Analysis14.5 Cellecta, Inc.14.5.1 Company Overview14.5.2 Role of Cellecta, Inc. in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.5.3 SWOT Analysis14.6 CRISPR Therapeutics AG14.6.1 Company Overview14.6.2 Role of CRISPR Therapeutics AG in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.6.3 Financials14.6.4 R&D Expenditure, 2017-201914.6.5 SWOT Analysis14.7 Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. INC14.7.1 Company Overview14.7.2 Role of Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.7.3 Financials14.7.4 R&D Expenditure, 2017-201914.7.5 SWOT Analysis14.8 GeneCopoeia, Inc.14.8.1 Company Overview14.8.2 Role of GeneCopoeia, Inc. in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.8.3 SWOT Analysis14.9 GeneScript Biotech Corporation14.9.1 Company Overview14.9.2 Role of GenScript Biotech in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.9.3 Financials14.9.4 SWOT Analysis14.1 Horizon Discovery Group PLC14.10.1 Company Overview14.10.2 Role of Horizon Discovery Group PLC in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.10.3 Financials14.10.4 SWOT Analysis14.11 Integrated DNA Technologies, Inc.14.11.1 Company Overview14.11.2 Role of Integrated DNA Technologies, Inc. in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.11.3 SWOT Analysis14.12 Merck KGaA14.12.1 Company Overview14.12.2 Role of Merck KGaA in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.12.3 Financials14.12.4 SWOT Analysis14.13 New England Biolabs, Inc.14.13.1 Company Overview14.13.2 Role of Integrated DNA Technologies, Inc. in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.13.3 SWOT Analysis14.14 Origene Technologies, Inc.14.14.1 Company Overview14.14.2 Role of Origene Technologies, Inc. in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.14.3 SWOT Analysis14.15 Rockland Immunochemicals, Inc.14.15.1 Company Overview14.15.2 Role of Rockland Immunochemicals, Inc. in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.15.3 SWOT Analysis14.16 Synthego Corporation14.16.1 Company Overview14.16.2 Role of Synthego Corporation in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.16.3 SWOT Analysis14.17 System Biosciences LLC14.17.1 Company Overview14.17.2 Role of System Biosciences LLC in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.17.3 SWOT Analysis14.18 ToolGen, Inc.14.18.1 Company Overview14.18.2 Role of ToolGen, Inc. in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.18.3 SWOT Analysis14.19 Takara Bio14.19.1 Company Overview14.19.2 Role of Takara Bio in the Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market14.19.3 Financials14.19.4 SWOT Analysis

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/c7om7t

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Outlook on the CRISPR Gene Editing Global Market to 2030 - Analysis and Forecasts - Yahoo Finance

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Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market (2020 to 2030) – Focus on Products, Applications, End-users, Country Data and Competitive Landscape -…

DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The "Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market: Focus on Products, Applications, End Users, Country Data (16 Countries), and Competitive Landscape - Analysis and Forecast, 2020-2030" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.

The global CRISPR gene editing market was valued at $846.2 million in 2019 and is expected to reach $10,825.1 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 26.86% during the forecast.

The development of genome engineering with potential applications proved to reflect a remarkable impact on the future of the healthcare and life science industry. The high efficiency of the CRISPR-Cas9 system has been demonstrated in various studies for genome editing, which resulted in significant investments within the field of genome engineering. However, there are several limitations, which need consideration before clinical applications. Further, many researchers are working on the limitations of CRISPR gene editing technology for better results. The potential of CRISPR gene editing to alter the human genome and modify the disease conditions is incredible but exists with ethical and social concerns.

The growth is attributed to the increasing demand in the food industry for better products with improved quality and nutrient enrichment and the pharmaceutical industry for targeted treatment for various diseases. Further, the continued significant investments by healthcare companies to meet the industry demand and growing prominence for the gene therapy procedures with less turnaround time are the prominent factors propelling the growth of the global CRISPR gene editing market.

Research organizations, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and institutes are looking for more efficient genome editing technologies to increase the specificity and cost-effectiveness, also to reduce turnaround time and human errors. Further, the evolution of genome editing technologies has enabled wide range of applications in various fields, such as industrial biotech and agricultural research. These advanced methods are simple, super-efficient, cost-effective, provide multiplexing, and high throughput capabilities. The increase in the geriatric population and increasing number of cancer cases, and genetic disorders across the globe are expected to translate into significantly higher demand for CRISPR gene editing market.

Furthermore, the companies are investing huge amounts in the research and development of CRISPR gene editing products, and gene therapies. The clinical trial landscape of various genetic and chronic diseases has been on the rise in recent years, and this will fuel the CRISPR gene editing market in the future.

Within the research report, the market is segmented based on product type, application, end-user, and region. Each of these segments covers the snapshot of the market over the projected years, the inclination of the market revenue, underlying patterns, and trends by using analytics on the primary and secondary data obtained.

Key Questions Answered in this Report:

Market Dynamics

Growth Drivers

Restraints

Opportunities

Companies Mentioned

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/rky1va

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Global CRISPR Gene Editing Market (2020 to 2030) - Focus on Products, Applications, End-users, Country Data and Competitive Landscape -...

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Geoengineering: What could possibly go wrong? Elizabeth Kolbert’s take, in her new book – Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Editors note: This story was originally published by Grist. It appears here as part of theClimate Deskcollaboration. Elizabeth Kolbert is a former member of the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

In Australia, scientists collect buckets of coral sperm, mixing one species with another in an attempt to create a new super coral that can withstand rising temperatures and acidifying seas. In Nevada, scientists nurse a tiny colony of one-inch long Devils Hole pupfish in an uncomfortably hot, Styrofoam-molded pool. And in Massachusetts, Harvard University scientists research injecting chemicals into the atmosphere to dim the suns lightand slow down the runaway pace of global warming.

These are some of the scenes from Elizabeth Kolberts new book,Under a White Sky, a global exploration of the ways that humanity is attempting to engineer, fix, or reroute the course of nature in a climate-changed world. (The title refers to one of the consequences of engineering the Earth to better reflect sunlight: Our usual blue sky could turn apale white.)

Kolbert, a New Yorker staff writer, has been covering the environment for decades: Her first book,Field Notes from a Catastrophe, traced the scientific evidence for global warming from Greenland to Alaska; her second,The Sixth Extinction, followed the growing pace of animal extinctions.

Under a White Skycovers slightly different ground. Humanity is now, Kolbert explains, in the midst of the Anthropocenea geologic era in whichweare the dominant force shaping earth, sea, and sky. Faced with that reality, humans have gotten more creative at using technology to fix the problems that we unwittingly spawned: Stamping out Australias cane toad invasion with genetic engineering, for example, or using giant air conditioners to suck carbon dioxide out of air and turn it into rock. As Kolbert notes, tongue-in-cheek: What could possibly go wrong?

This interview has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

Osaka:Under a White Skyis about a lot of things rivers, solar geoengineering, coral reefs but its also about what nature means in our current world. What got you interested in that topic?

Kolbert: All books have complicated births, as it were. But about four years ago, I went to Hawaii to report on a project that had been nicknamed the super coral project. And it was run by a very charismatic scientist namedRuth Gates, who very sadly passed away about two years ago. We have very radically altered the oceans by pouring hundreds of billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the airand we cant get that heat out of the oceans in any foreseeable timescale. We cant change the chemistry back. And if we want coral reefs in the future, were going to have to counter what weve done to the oceans by remaking reefs so they can withstand warmer temperatures. The aim of the project was to see if you could hybridize or crossbreed corals to get more vigorous varieties.

This ideathat we have to counteract one form of intervention in the natural world (climate change) with another form of intervention (trying to recreate reefs)just struck me as a very interesting new chapter in our long and very complicated relationship with nature. And once I started to think about it that way, I started to see that as a pretty widespread pattern. Thats really what prompted the book.

Osaka: Some of these human interventions to save nature seem hopeful and positiveand others go wrong in pretty epic ways. How do you balance those two types of stories?

Kolbert: The book starts with examples that probably will strike many readers as Okay, that makes sense. That makes sense. But it goes from regional engineering solutions through biotechnology, through gene editing, and all the way up to solar geoengineering. So it kind of leads you down what we might call a slippery slope. And one of the interesting things about these cases is that they will divide up people differently. Even people who consider themselves environmentalists will come down on different sides of some of these technologies. The bind were in is so profound that theres no right answer.

Osaka: So someone who accepts what were doing to save the Devils Hole pupfish might not necessarily accept gene-editing mosquitos or dimming the sun through solar geoengineering.

Kolbert: Exactly. And I think sometimes those linesseemclearer than they are once you start to think about it.

Osaka: At one point in the book, theres a quote that is (apocryphally) attributed to Einstein: We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. But you dont say whether you agree with that sentiment or not. Is that on purpose?

Kolbert: Yeah, you can read the book and say, Im really glad people are doing these things, and I feel better. Or you can read the book and say, as one scientific quote does, This is a broad highway to hell. And both of those are very valid reactions.

Osaka: When you write about geoengineering, you point out that many scientists conclude that its necessary to avoid catastrophic levels of warming, but that it could also be a really bad ideKolbert Do you think that in 15 or 20 years youll be writing about a geoengineering experiment gone wrong, much as youre writing now about failed attempts to protect Louisiana from flooding?

Kolbert: I might argue about the timescales. Im not sure Ill be reporting on it in 15 years, but I thinkyoumight be reporting on it in 30 years.

At the moment, its still the realm of sci-fi, and Im not claiming to have any particular insight into how people are going to respond in the future. But the case thats made in the book by some very smart scientists is that we dont have very many tools in our toolbox for dealing with climate change quickly, because the system has so much inertia. Its like turning around a supertanker: It takes literally decades, even if we do everything absolutely right.

Osaka: Youve reported on climate change for a long time. How does it feel to see geoengineering being explored as a more valuableand potentially necessaryoption?

Kolbert: Well, one thing I learned in the course of reporting the book was that what we now refer to as geoengineering was actually the very first thing that people started to think about when they first realized we were warming the climate. The very first report about climate change that was handed to Lyndon Johnson in 1965 wasnt about how we should stop emittingit was: Maybe we should find some reflective stuff to throw into the ocean to bounce more sunlight back into space!

Its odd, its kind of almost freakish, and I cant explain it, except to say that it sort of fits the pattern of the book.

Osaka: Theres been a longstanding fight in environmentalism between a technology-will-save-us philosophy and a return-to-nature philosophy. Based on the reporting in this book, do you think that the technology camp has won?

Kolbert: I think the book is an attempt to take on both of those schools of thought. On some level, technologyhaswoneven people who would say dont do geoengineering still want to put up solar panels and build huge arrays of batteries, and those are technologies! But where does that leave us? It goes back to Ruth Gates and the super coral project. There was a big fight among coral biologists about whether a project like that should even be pursued. The Great Barrier Reef is the size of Italyeven if you have some replacement coral, how are you going to get them out on the reef? But Gatess point was, were not returning. Even if we stopped emitting carbon dioxide tomorrow, youre not getting the Great Barrier Reef back as it was in a foreseeable timeframe.

My impulse as an old-school environmentalist is to say Well, lets just leave things alone. But the sad fact is that weve intervened so much at this point that evennot intervening is itself an intervention.

Osaka: Now that we have a US president who takes climate change seriously, do you think we could actually start cutting carbon emissions quickly

Kolbert: I really do want to applaud the first steps that theBiden administration has taken. I think they show a pretty profound understanding of the problem. But the question, and its a big one, is What are the limits? Will Congress do anything? What will happen in theSupreme Court? The United States is no longer the biggest emitter on an annual basis, but on a cumulative basis were still the biggest. And we still dont have resolution on how much carbon dioxdie we can put up there to avoid 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming. Those are questions with big error bars. If were lucky, I think we can avoid disastrous climate change. But if were not lucky, were already in deep trouble.

Osaka: Is there anything else you want to say about the book?

Kolbert: It sounds kind of weird after our conversation, but the book was actually a lot of fun to write. It sounds odd when youre talking about a book where the subject is so immensely serious.

Osaka: You mean like when the undergraduates in Australia are tossing each other buckets of coral sperm?

Kolbert: Yes! There is always humor in all these situations. I hope that sense of fun comes through.

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Geoengineering: What could possibly go wrong? Elizabeth Kolbert's take, in her new book - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

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