Latest genetic achievements: disease-free pigs and pest-free potatoes

Genetics is the key to the future. This discipline, which has experienced a tremendous explosion in recent years, is already allows real ‘miracles’. Disease-resistant animals and plants, rejuvenation of human epithelial cells, cloning of living things, transgenic foods… latest examples swine productive and respiratory syndrome resistant pigs (viral disease) and plants that produce omega-3 fatty acidsNutrients help prevent heart disease and cancer. But geneticists face a problem: laws and regulations prohibiting genetic modification in almost every part of the world.

The UK Government is now ready to change the rules of the game: it is preparing a promising gene technology bill. unleash the bioscience industry Now some corsets that imprison them, in accordance with the demands of scientists.

The announcement was met with limited welcome by the majority of biologists. They provide this Genetics, for example, will allow it to develop and “feed the planet” crops that are resistant to blight (a parasitic fungus of multiple plants causing huge losses).. But the scientists themselves admit that the day when science can “save the world” is still far away.

“This bill will allow us to take a few baby steps,” said Professor Nick Talbot of the Sainsbury Laboratory, a Norfolk-based plant research institute. “This is good news of course, but we will need more public discussion on these issues before we can really make any progress,” he told The Guardian.

British scientists have already developed new products, for example blight-resistant potatoes and products rich in omega-3 nutrientshowever, they are unlikely to get approval under the new regulatory framework proposed by Boris Johnson’s government and may stall as it has for years.

Gene editing, new technique

New gene editing techniques have also made it possible to obtain Animals are more resistant to disease. And not just in England. In the United States, altering a single gene allowed a group of researchers to produce a group of piglets that were immune to a deadly virus in almost 100% of cases., a coronavirus, in particular. Genetically modified pigs do not become infected.

This gene editing This is a new technique that won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry two years ago for the work of two of its creators, the French Emmanuelle Charpentier and the American Jennifer Doudna. This technology makes it possible to change the composition of a gene without adding new DNA. allows you to create crop types with new featuressuch as resistance to drought or certain diseases without adding foreign genetic material.

Genetic editing allows to improve animals and plants ihu

There is another genetic technology, genetic modificationThis usually involves taking a complete gene from one plant and inserting it into another, in most cases, so that the recipient acquires a particular trait of the original, such as protection against certain diseases.

This transgenic productsdeveloped about thirty years ago received a strong rejection For the claims, which according to scientists were unfounded, “Frankenfoods” foods made from emerging transgenic plants were claimed to be “unnatural” and pose a danger to health and the environment.

everything shows that UK Government will ‘green light’ to gene editing (with some restrictions certainly) but will not ‘release’ genetic modification. The normative norm would not allow exploration of findings such as those of Jonathan Jones and his team, who also work at the Sainsbury Lab. blight resistant potato variety. Because they got it through genetic modification.

Potato variety immune to blight

they call potatoes PiperPlusThe lab-created is identical to the so-called Maris Pipar most commonly grown in the UK, except for one detail: scorch resistantIt harms British agriculture.

“Farmers have to spray their fields 15 times a year to protect their potatoes, and their tractors release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and compact the soil in the fields, and the chemicals they spray can get into the water supply,” he said. .

The researchers hope that Boris Johnson’s director will go a step further and allow genetic modification, a method much more powerful than gene editing. They suggest arranging crop varieties according to their characteristics, not the method used to create them.. Because there are things that only genetic modification can achieve.

“The regulation of gene technologies should be based on the outcome of any genetic change, rather than currently focusing on the technology used to make a genetic change,” warned Professor Dame Linda Partridge, Vice-President of the Royal Society.

potato planting agencies

Scientists advance some of the achievements achieved through genetic modification. For example, Plants that produce omega-3 fatty acids are nutrients that help prevent heart disease and strokes, and may also play protective roles against cancer and other conditions.. The world’s main source of omega-3s is fish, and fatty acid-rich marketing facilities will help prevent critical shortages in the future due to declining fish populations.

the need to feed the world

But gene editing has also brought amazing advances. at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, With this technology, a group of scientists has succeeded in creating a breed of pigs that is resistant to the respiratory and reproductive syndrome of pigs, a serious fatal disease for the species.. The next step would be to use gene editing to make samples resistant to gene editing. african swine fever.

Experts stressed the need for more research on plants and animals and to ensure that new crops reach the fields and farms “as soon as possible”. first of all because The world’s population is likely to reach 10 billion by 2050, and disease and drought-resistant crop species and animal breeds will be needed to feed the world..

Dale Sanders, director of the John Innes Center in Norfolk, highlighted agriculture’s “big impact” on the environment. “For example, it produces far more carbon emissions than the aviation industry. Also, fertilizers are made from fossil fuels and together with pesticides can have major detrimental effects on the local ecology. Only science can save us from such problems.” he concluded.


Environment department contact

Source: Informacion


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