Redesigning Life

How Genome Editing Will Transform the World

Author: John Parrington

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198766823

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 1322

Since the birth of civilisation, human beings have manipulated other life-forms. We have selectively bred plants and animals for thousands of years to maximize agricultural production and cater to our tastes in pets. The observation of the creation of artificial animal and plant variants was a key stimulant for Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. The ability to directly engineer the genomes of organisms first became possible in the 1970s, when the gene for human insulin was introduced into bacteria to produce this protein for diabetics. At the same time, mice were modified to produce human growth hormone, and grew huge as a result. But these were only our first tottering steps into the possibilities of genetic engineering. In the past few years, the pace of progress has accelerated enormously. We can now cut and paste genes using molecular scissors with astonishing ease, and the new technology of genome editing can be applied to practically any species of plants or animals. 'Mutation chain reaction' can be used to alter the genes of a population of pests, such as flies; as the modified creatures breed, the mutation is spread through the population, so that within a few generations the organism is almost completely altered. At the same time, scientists are also beginning to synthesize new organisms from scratch. These new technologies hold much promise for improving lives. Genome editing has already been used clinically to treat AIDS patients, by genetically modifying their white blood cells to be resistant to HIV. In agriculture, genome editing could be used to engineer species with increased food output, and the ability to thrive in challenging climates. New bacterial forms may be used to generate energy. But these powerful new techniques also raise important ethical dilemmas and potential dangers, pressing issues that are already upon us given the speed of scientific developments. To what extent should parents be able to manipulate the genetics of their offspring - and would designer babies be limited to the rich? Can we effectively weigh up the risks from introducing synthetic lifeforms into complex ecosystems? John Parrington explains the nature and possibilities of these new scientific developments, which could usher in a brave, new world. We must rapidly come to understand its implications if we are to direct its huge potential to the good of humanity and the planet.
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One Hundred Patents That Shaped the Modern World

Author: David Segal

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192571133

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 256

View: 2035

What would our world today be like without inventions like tarmac, aspirin, liquid crystals, and barbed wire? This guide shows how patents and the inventions they describe have shaped the 21st century. It gives us insights into the inventions, big and small, that have had huge impacts, many unexpected, on multiple spheres of our lives, from popular culture and entertainment, to global health, to transportation, to the waging of war. It features patent documents that date from the mid-19th century to the present. Patent documents describe inventions and represent an accurate and rich source of information about the history and current state of modern technology, as patents are examined and their accuracy can be challenged. The subject matter covers many technical areas. Patents discussed include, for example, Morse code, the diode, triode, transistors, television, frozen foods, ring-pull for soft drink cans, board games such as Monopoly, gene editing, metamaterials, MRI, computerised tomography, insulin, and monoclonal antibodies such as Herceptin. The text is illustrated with drawings adapted from the original patent documents. Patent numbers are included to allow interested readers to trace the documents. Inventions described in the patents are placed in historical perspective. For example, the book discusses the role of the cavity magnetron and radar in World War II, and the influence of the diode on the development of broadcasting at the beginning of the 20th century.
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The International Law of Biotechnology

Human Rights, Trade, Patents, Health and the Environment

Author: Matthias Herdegen

Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing

ISBN: 1786435969

Category:

Page: 208

View: 1480

Biotechnology is a field that inspires complex legal and ethical debates on an international scale. Taking a fresh approach to the subject, Matthias Herdegen provides a comprehensive assessment of the regulation of biotechnology processes and products from an international and comparative perspective.
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Evolving Ourselves

Redesigning the Future of Humanity--One Gene at a Time

Author: Juan Enriquez,Steve Gullans

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698174984

Category: Science

Page: 384

View: 5378

“We are the primary drivers of change. We will directly and indirectly determine what lives, what dies, where, and when. We are in a different phase of evolution; the future of life is now in our hands.” Why are rates of conditions like autism, asthma, obesity, and allergies exploding at an unprecedented pace? Why are humans living longer, getting smarter, and having far fewer kids? How might your lifestyle affect your unborn children and grandchildren? How will gene-editing technologies like CRISPR steer the course of human evolution? If Darwin were alive today, how would he explain this new world? Could our progeny eventually become a different species—or several? In Evolving Ourselves, futurist Juan Enriquez and scientist Steve Gullans conduct a sweeping tour of how humans are changing the course of evolution—sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. For example: • Globally, rates of obesity in humans nearly doubled between 1980 and 2014. What’s more, there’s evidence that other species, from pasture-fed horses to lab animals to house cats, are also getting fatter. • As reported by U.S. government agencies, the rate of autism rose by 131 percent from 2001 to 2010, an increase that cannot be attributed simply to increases in diagnosis rates. • Three hundred years ago, almost no one with a serious nut allergy lived long enough to reproduce. Today, despite an environment in which food allergies have increased by 50 percent in just over a decade, 17 million Americans who suffer from food allergies survive, thrive, and pass their genes and behaviors on to the next generation. • In the pre-Twinkie era, early humans had quite healthy mouths. As we began cooking, bathing, and using antibiotics, the bacteria in our bodies changed dramatically and became far less diverse. Today the consequences are evident not only in our teeth but throughout our bodies and minds. Though these harbingers of change are deeply unsettling, the authors argue that we are also in an epoch of tremendous opportunity. New advances in biotechnology help us mitigate the cruel forces of natural selection, from saving prematurely born babies to gene therapies for sickle cell anemia and other conditions. As technology like CRISPR enables us to take control of our genes, we will be able to alter our own species and many others—a good thing, given that our eventual survival will require space travel and colonization, enabled by a fundamental redesign of our bodies. Future humans could become great caretakers of the planet, as well as a more diverse, more resilient, gentler, and more intelligent species—but only if we make the right choices now. Intelligent, provocative, and optimistic, Evolving Ourselves is the ultimate guide to the next phase of life on Earth. From the Hardcover edition.
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Technology Review

MIT's Magazine of Innovation

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Technology

Page: N.A

View: 4864

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Wikinomics

How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything

Author: Don Tapscott,Anthony D. Williams

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781591841937

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 351

View: 416

An updated edition of the best-selling guide to the art and science of mass collaboration features an additional chapter that shares practical guidelines on how to apply Wikinomics to one's own organization. 30,000 first printing.
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Future Survey

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Forecasting

Page: N.A

View: 8034

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Global Trends in Intelligent Computing Research and Development

Author: Tripathy, B.K.

Publisher: IGI Global

ISBN: 1466649372

Category: Computers

Page: 601

View: 5932

As the amount of accumulated data across a variety of fields becomes harder to maintain, it is essential for a new generation of computational theories and tools to assist humans in extracting knowledge from this rapidly growing digital data. Global Trends in Intelligent Computing Research and Development brings together recent advances and in depth knowledge in the fields of knowledge representation and computational intelligence. Highlighting the theoretical advances and their applications to real life problems, this book is an essential tool for researchers, lecturers, professors, students, and developers who have seek insight into knowledge representation and real life applications.
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Genomic Designing of Climate-Smart Fruit Crops

Author: Chittaranjan Kole

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 9783319979458

Category: Science

Page: N.A

View: 3212

This edited book provides a comprehensive overview of modern strategies in fruit crop breeding in the era of climate change and global warming. It demonstrates how advances in plant molecular and genomics-assisted breeding can be utilized to produce improved fruit crops with climate-smart traits. Agriculture is facing a number of challenges in the 21st century, as it has to address food, nutritional, energy and environmental security. Future fruit varieties must be adaptive to the varying scenarios of climate change, produce higher yields of high-quality food, feed, and fuel and have multiple uses. To achieve these goals, it is imperative to employ modern tools of molecular breeding, genetic engineering and genomics for ‘precise’ plant breeding to produce ‘designed’ fruit crop varieties. This book is of interest to scientists working in the fields of plant genetics, genomics, breeding, biotechnology, and in the disciplines of agronomy and horticulture.
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Adweek

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Advertising

Page: N.A

View: 2836

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