GES Colloquium WordCloud

Gene Drives and Responsible Innovation

December 8, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

It is not often that a new technology is at once hailed as a potential solution to pandemic disease, wildlife conservation and hunger, while also being feared as a potential military and environmental “bioweapon.” Gene drives,...

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Funders respond to NASEM Gene Drive study

December 1, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

Funders of the National Academy of Sciences consensus study Gene Drives on the Horizon (2016) have published a response to the report in the December 2017 issue of Science.  The study summarized "current understanding of the scientific discoveries related to gene drives and their accompanying ethical, legal, and social implications," and was co-authored by Dr. Jason Delborne, associate professor of science, policy and society in the College of Natural Resources and executive committee member of the GES Center....

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Jason Delborne

Jason Delborne appointed to National Academies Forest Biotech Study Committee

November 30, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

Dr. Jason Delborne has been appointed to the National Academies of Sciences provisional committee on The Potential for Biotechnology to Address Forest Health, or Forest Biotech Study. The study will be looking at the potential uses of biotechnology to mitigate threats to forest tree health, identify ecological, ethical, and societal implications of using this technology in forests, and develop an agenda to address knowledge gaps in its application. ...

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Johanna Elsensohn, GES PhD candidate

Scientist to the Senators: Ph.D. Student Johanna Elsensohn

November 21, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

Written by Chelsea Kellner This article originally appeared on CALS News Ph.D. student Johanna Elsensohn understands the importance of intersecting science with policy: During the international Zika virus crisis, she worked with policymakers on one...

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African maize farmer with child on her back

Genetic Engineering may not solve Africa’s fall armyworm problems

November 17, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

The fall armyworm which is a major pest of corn in the western hemisphere has become an invasive pest in Africa in the past few years. Some groups are calling for use of Bt corn as a solution. In this video Dr. Gould describes why it would take great dedication and large resources in money and people to use this approach in an equitable and sustainable manner....

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In the ongoing controversy over whether and how to use a powerful new genome editing technology in the wild to achieve conservation and public health goals, two new papers urge caution.

Jason Delborne addresses CRISPR gene drives controversy in NYTimes, Quanta, and Gizmodo

November 17, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

GES Faculty member Jason Delborne addresses two controversial new papers in several articles published this week on the safety of field testing CRISPR gene drives in the wild. With links to articles in New York Times, Quanta, Gizmodo and The Atlantic....

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Jen-Baltzegar

IGERT Student Jennifer Baltzegar wins Entomology poster contest

November 13, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

Jennifer Baltzegar, a PhD Candidate in the Genetics Program, won first place in a research poster competition last week at the Entomological Society of America’s 2017 Annual Meeting. Jen is an NSF IGERT Fellow in Genetic...

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Graphic of corn cobs with DNA

Genetic Literacy Project: USDA scraps overhaul of GMO and gene edited crop regulations that biotech advocates viewed as ‘unscientific’

November 7, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

“I think the real reason [for the withdrawal] is that the new proposed rule would have brought more gene-edited crops under its authority,” stated Kuzma. “And this new administration isn’t too fond of regulations in general.”...

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Marine iguanas of the Galápagos are vulnerable to feral cats and other invasive predators. Credit: Tui de Roy, Scientific American

Scientific American: Could Genetic Engineering Save the Galápagos?

November 7, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

Campbell first became intrigued by the possibilities of gene drive in 2011, when he sat in on a conference call between biologists at NC State University and officials of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to discuss a possible genetic approach to control a runaway mouse problem on Southeast Farallon Island, about 20 miles west of the California coast, near San Francisco. John Godwin, a North Carolina State neurobiologist who studies animal behavior, had learned of the Farallon issue while skimming the Internet in 2011. He happened to be at a university with an established infrastructure dedicated to experimenting with—and considering the ethical implications of—genetic manipulation....

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Tractor plowing a field.

Science: Trump’s agriculture department reverses course on biotech rules

November 7, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

It’s a predictable move by President Donald Trump’s White House to take another look at the policies of the previous administration, says Jennifer Kuzma, a social scientist who co-directs the Genetic Engineering and Society Center at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. “I expected them to eventually catch wind that this was something that USDA was doing, and reverse it.”...

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A gallery-goer interacts with an interpretive artistic piece inspired by the potential of gene editing at “Art’s Work in the Age of Biotechnology: Shaping Our Genetic Future(s),” an April exhibit by CALS' Genetics and Society Center, NCSU Libraries and CAM Raleigh.

Our (Possible) Genetic Futures

November 3, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

As crowds poured into Raleigh’s contemporary art museum during the April 2017 art walk, one white wall began to fill with hand-written messages scribbled on neon Post-It notes. Above was a sign: Write down one word describing how you feel about your genetic future....

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IGERT Student Jessica Barnes wins poster contest at 2017 American Chestnut Foundation meeting

October 23, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

Read about the ACF Annual Meeting and see more photos here. Full poster (click to enlarge)...

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Science Cafe

Godwin and Delborne discuss CRISPR and ethics at NC Museum of Science

October 2, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

GES faculty John Godwin and Jason Delborne were at the NC Museum of History on 9.28.17 discussing genetic biocontrol of pest populations, such as CRISPR gene drives to eliminate invasive rodents from islands to protect endangered seabirds. See PowerPoint presentation & livestream video (including slides)....

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Megaphone with edited DNA

Scientific American article on public acceptance of CRISPR features Delborne and Kuzma

October 2, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

“Without transparency, we might see a kind of hyperpolarization,” says Jason Delborne, a professor of science, policy and society at North Carolina State University. Concerned groups will feel marginalized, and advocates won't receive critical feedback needed to improve design and safety. “This puts the technology at risk of a knee-jerk moratorium at the first sign of difficulty,” he notes....

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From Todd Kuiken's visit to Counter Culture Labs in San Francisco in August, 2017.

Upgrading Biosafety and Biosecurity: Open Philanthropy awards $700K for DIYbio

September 22, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

“For the last six years, Todd and I have been exploring the best ways to ensure the healthy growth of community labs as safe and secure resources for public education and biotech innovation,” says Grushkin. “This grant will help us codify best practices in these often unconventional spaces.”...

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