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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U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Brings Listening Tour to NC State

October 6, 2017 | Staff

A multi-state listening tour brought Sonny Perdue to NC State University, where he heard repeatedly about the importance of communicating with and educating the public about the importance of agricultural innovation to rural prosperity....

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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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embo-gene-edited-crops-article-figure1

Kuzma examines benefits, regulation of gene edited crops in EMBO

September 21, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

In this article, published by EMBOpress, researchers look at how new genetic-engineering (GE) technologies based on gene editing can help to generate crop varieties to address critical challenges in agricultural development. However, governance systems for these crops are poorly defined and currently uncertain....

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