Last week, we looked at two presentations Vacuoles by Maru Garcia and Causality is Broken: Can we Fix it with Art + Design by Pinar Yoldas. Both presentations spoke of the pollution and atrocities mankind has created on the earth and both presenters bring awareness to the subject.
Maru García- “Vacuoles”:
When you look at trees in parks or around busy cities, you focus on the aesthetic of it. How it brightens up your mood, how the smell of the trees opens up your airways, and how the green and colorful flowers break the visual block of the stone and brick buildings around you. What you DON’T think about, is the greater role of these plants.
Urban city planners intentionally include plants in their city plans for the following strategic reasons.
A “CRISPR” stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, which are the hallmark of a bacterial defense system that forms the basis for CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology. In the field of genome engineering, the term “CRISPR” or “CRISPR-Cas9” is often used loosely to refer to the various CRISPR-Cas9 and -CPF1 systems that can be programmed to target specific stretches of genetic code and to edit DNA at precise locations.
I found the videos on CRISPR that we watched in class to be very interesting. I had heard about CRISPR and CRISPR babies in particular, but it was fascinating to learn more in depth about the technology and its applications. Specifically I found it intriguing -- and I must admit, disturbing -- to see the actual products of genetic modification using CRISPR. The images of pigs lacking fat and muscle mass to the point where you could see ribs and beagles that look like body builders were shocking and seemed right out of a horror sci fi movie.
I found the topic of last class to be extraordinarily interesting in regards to learning about CRISPR (Clusters of Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) gene editing technology.
In class last week we discussed CRISPR. I had a previous journal entry talking about CRISPR babies for the HOX Zodiac week, so some of this may be redundant, but it's also a chance to delve into this topic further.
CRISPR stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, and is a powerful gene editing tool. the CRISPR sequences are transcribed in RNA sequences (crRNA), which guide the system to a complementary sequence on the target DNA. The attached Cas9 enzyme then snips the DNA at that location , shutting the target gene off.
CRISPR stands for “CRISPR-Cas9”, which is also called “clusters of regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats”. It is a specialized stretch of DNA which, with the associated Cas9 protein, is able to make gene editing possible. It is a simple but also helpful tool for gene deleting and inserting.
A few years ago, I vividly remember watching one of the many news stories featuring Dr. Jennifer Doudna (a key researcher associated with CRISPR gene editing) as she explained to the world what CRISPR technology can do. My family and I were captivated by her interview - gene editing was not an entirely new concept, but CRISPR technology meant it could almost effortlessly be done (“Game-Changing”).
“Mere data makes a man. A and C and T and G. The alphabet of you. All from four symbols.” This quote comes from one of my favorite the movies, Blade Runner: 2049. The thought of reducing our individuality down to a combination of 4 molecules is humbling.
Last year Chinese scientist, He Jiankui, used the powerful technology of CRISPR to create genetically modified twin baby girls. The gene surgery was performed when the girls were just embryos to protect them from HIV. The father of the girls was HIV positive and wanted to protect his children. The doctor is now under investigation by Chinese law enforcement and other fellow scientists to review his claim that he did indeed change their DNA.
As I’ve gotten deeper and deeper into my college education, I’ve become more aware of how specialized our individual knowledge has become. I am a Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology major, which means I’ve studied the newest biological research techniques and therapeutic findings in great detail.