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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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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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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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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Synthetic Microorganisms for Agricultural Use

July 6, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

By 2050, the world’s population is estimated to exceed 9 billion people. A challenge to this rising food demand is that crops will have to be grown on the same or less land as today. Additionally, global climate change is causing considerable uncertainty in the ability of the current food production system to adapt to an unknown future. To address these issues sustainably, scientists from many disciplines have been investigating ways to increase crop yields and prepare for a changing climate. Considerable effort has focused on enhancing the traits of the crop plants themselves, to enhance their growth, make them resistant to disease, or tolerant to environmental stressors like drought or high salinity conditions. Conversely, a growing area of research is looking at how microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, influence these plant characteristics....

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Read "Citizen Health Innovators: Exploring Stories of Modern Health" from BioCoder, Spring 2017

Todd Kuiken in BioCoder: Citizen Health Innovators

May 5, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. Many would argue that their greatest necessity is health. So what happens when treatments are ineffective or unavailable? Today, in the age of crowdfunding, some people are taking matters into their own hands and developing their own treatments, including surgical techniques, gene therapies and molecular therapies. GES Senior Research Scholar Dr. Todd Kuiken, together with international science policy expert Eleonore Pauwels, of The Wilson Center, explores the risks, regulatory issues, and implications of the emerging DIY, "patient-powered" health research movement in the Spring 2017 issue of BioCoder....

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Read 'DARPA’s Synthetic Biology Initiatives Could Militarize the Environment' in Slate

Todd Kuiken publishes Slate article discussing concerns with DARPA’s SynBio Initiatives

May 3, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

GES Research Scholar Dr. Todd Kuiken has concerns about DARPA, who’s investments are “bending the entire field of synthetic biology towards military applications.” Will DARPA’s initiatives lead to the militarization of the natural environment?...

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Todd Kuiken quoted in Atlantic article on failure of glowing plant kickstarter

April 28, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

Remember the Kickstarter campaign that raised half a million dollars to fund the invention of glowing houseplants? Todd Kuiken, GES research scholar and synthetic biology expert, weighs in on the recent announcement of the project’s failure...

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