THUNK – 83. CRISPR & Genetic Engineering

CRISPR is making big waves in biology, and for good reason; the doors to genetic engineering are now wide open.

QUICK ADDENDUM: The CRISPR method is currently only used to modify germline genomes (fertilized eggs), not fully-grown organisms. (That’s why I stress the “new humans” angle.) We have methods to achieve that sort of modification (viruses mostly), but CRISPR just lets us rewrite one DNA at a time really really efficiently.

SECOND ADDENDUM: I said in this episode that high IQ is correlated with depression. This is a highly contentious statement, with no compelling evidence. However, there are good reasons to believe that high IQ is related to bipolar disorder: sengifted.org/archives/articles/the-impact-of-giftedness-on-psychological-well-being

-Links for the Curious-

This video is only possible because my amazing sister put together a summary of CRISPR that I could wrap my head around. They’re available here – imgur.com/a/PIvv5

A fantastic compilation of CRISPR/Cas9 papers – wwwuser.cnb.csic.es/~montoliu/

A Reddit AMA from Paul Knoepfler, one of the pioneers of CRISPR – www.reddit.com/r/science/comm

A Nature article on the newly-formed “biohacker” amateur genetics movement – www.nature.com/news/biohackers

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