A handful of discoveries have changed the course of human history. This book is about the most recent and potentially the most powerful and dangerous of them all. It is an invention that allows us to rewrite the genetic code that shapes and controls all living beings with astonishing accuracy and ease. Thanks to it, the dreams of genetic manipulation have become a stark reality: the power to cure disease and alleviate suffering, to create new sources of food and energy, as well as to re-design any species, including humans, for our own ends. Jennifer Doudna is the co-inventor of this technology - known as CRISPR - and a scientist of worldwide renown. Writing with fellow researcher Samuel Sternberg, here she provides the definitive account of her discovery, explaining how this wondrous invention works and what it is capable of. She also asks us to consider what our new-found power means: how do we enjoy its unprecedented benefits while avoiding its equally unprecedented dangers? The future of humankind - and of all life on Earth - is at stake. This book is an essential guide to the path that now lies ahead.
Author: Jennifer A. Doudna
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: 2017-06-13
Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize One of Science News’ Favorite Books of the Year “Required reading for every concerned citizen.” — New York Review of Books “The future is in our hands as never before, and this book explains the stakes like no other.” — George Lucas Not since the atomic bomb has a technology so alarmed its inventors that they warned the world about its use. That is, until 2015, when biologist Jennifer Doudna called for a worldwide moratorium on the use of the gene-editing tool CRISPR—a revolutionary new technology that she helped create—to make heritable changes in human embryos. The cheapest, simplest, most effective way of manipulating DNA ever known, CRISPR may well give us the cure to HIV, genetic diseases, and some cancers. Yet even the tiniest changes to DNA could have myriad, unforeseeable consequences—to say nothing of the ethical and societal repercussions of intentionally mutating embryos to create “better” humans. Writing with fellow researcher Sam Sternberg, Doudna shares the thrilling story of her discovery and describes the enormous responsibility that comes with the power to rewrite the code of life. “An essential start to educating the public . . . reveal[s] the complex, interlocking, and thoroughly international nature of today’s bioscience.” —Los Angeles Review of Books “An invaluable account . . . We owe Doudna several times over.” — Guardian
The author of A Life Decoded explains how his team's achievement with sequencing the human genome has launched an important age of biological research, revealing a growing potential for enabling humans to adapt and evolve for long-term survival and environmental improvement.
Author: University Jennifer Doudna
Release Date: 2016-03-23
The development of CRISPR-Cas technology is revolutionizing biology. Based on machinery bacteria use to target foreign nucleic acids, these powerful techniques allow investigators to edit nucleic acids and modulate gene expression more rapidly and accurately than ever before. Featuring contributions from leading figures in the CRISPR-Cas field, this laboratory manual presents a state-of-the-art guide to the technology. It includes step-by-step protocols for applying CRISPR-Cas-based techniques in various systems, including yeast, zebrafish, Drosophila, mice, and cultured cells (e.g., human pluripotent stem cells). The contributors cover web-based tools and approaches for designing guide RNAs that precisely target genes of interest, methods for preparing and delivering CRISPR-Cas reagents into cells, and ways to screen for cells that harbor the desired genetic changes. Strategies for optimizing CRISPR-Cas in each system--especially for minimizing off-target effects--are also provided. Authors also describe other applications of the CRISPR-Cas system, including its use for regulating genome activation and repression, and discuss the development of next-generation CRISPR-Cas tools. The book is thus an essential laboratory resource for all cell, molecular, and developmental biologists, as well as biochemists, geneticists, and all who seek to expand their biotechnology toolkits.
Author: Lee Tang
Publisher: LMT Press via PublishDrive
Release Date: 2017-10-01
The Power and Peril of Gene Editing CRISPR/Cas9 Technology The must-read summary of “A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution” by Jennifer A. Doudna and Samuel H. Sternberg. This complete summary of Jennifer Doudna and Samuel Sternberg’s book tells the story of CRISPR and “gene-editing.” CRISPR is a cutting-edge gene-editing technology that mimics what happens naturally in bacteria. It enables scientists to “play god” with plant or animal DNA, with unlimited power and peril. The technology of gene editing is the most important advance in our era. The possibility of forever altering the genetic composition of humankind is frightening. Yet we can’t overlook the opportunities that may lead to inventions for cures of HIV, debilitating genetic diseases, and cancers, and end food shortages. The book will demystify this exciting area of science and inspire you to seek answers to tough moral and ethical questions on the use of this technology. Read this summary and get involved in the debate on the moral and ethical issues on the use of this technology. This guide includes: * Book Summary—The summary helps you understand the key ideas and recommendations. * Online Videos—on-demand replay of public lectures, and seminars on the topics covered in the chapter. Value-added of this guide: * Save time * Understand key concepts * Expand your knowledge
Author: Beth Skwarecki
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2018-07-17
A clear and straightforward explanation of genetics in this new edition of the popular 101 series. Our genetic makeup determines so much about who we are, and what we pass on to our children—from eye color, to height, to health, and even our longevity. Genetics 101 breaks down the science of how genes are inherited and passed from parents to offspring, what DNA is and how it works, how your DNA affects your health, and how you can use your personal genomics to find out more about who you are and where you come from. Whether you’re looking for a better scientific understanding of genetics, or looking into your own DNA, Genetics 101 is your go-to source to discover more about both yourself and your ancestry.
Author: John Parrington
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2016-08-25
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.
Author: Anna Lembke
Publisher: JHU Press
Release Date: 2016-11-06
Three out of four people addicted to heroin probably started on a prescription opioid, according to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the United States alone, 16,000 people die each year as a result of prescription opioid overdose. But perhaps the most frightening aspect of the prescription drug epidemic is that it’s built on well-meaning doctors treating patients with real problems. In Drug Dealer, MD, Dr. Anna Lembke uncovers the unseen forces driving opioid addiction nationwide. Combining case studies from her own practice with vital statistics drawn from public policy, cultural anthropology, and neuroscience, she explores the complex relationship between doctors and patients, the science of addiction, and the barriers to successfully addressing drug dependence and addiction. Even when addiction is recognized by doctors and their patients, she argues, many doctors don’t know how to treat it, connections to treatment are lacking, and insurance companies won’t pay for rehab. Full of extensive interviews—with health care providers, pharmacists, social workers, hospital administrators, insurance company executives, journalists, economists, advocates, and patients and their families— Drug Dealer, MD, is for anyone whose life has been touched in some way by addiction to prescription drugs. Dr. Lembke gives voice to the millions of Americans struggling with prescription drugs while singling out the real culprits behind the rise in opioid addiction: cultural narratives that promote pills as quick fixes, pharmaceutical corporations in cahoots with organized medicine, and a new medical bureaucracy focused on the bottom line that favors pills, procedures, and patient satisfaction over wellness. Dr. Lembke concludes that the prescription drug epidemic is a symptom of a faltering health care system, the solution for which lies in rethinking how health care is delivered.
Author: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Publisher: National Academies Press
Release Date: 2017-08-13
Genome editing is a powerful new tool for making precise alterations to an organismâ€™s genetic material. Recent scientific advances have made genome editing more efficient, precise, and flexible than ever before. These advances have spurred an explosion of interest from around the globe in the possible ways in which genome editing can improve human health. The speed at which these technologies are being developed and applied has led many policymakers and stakeholders to express concern about whether appropriate systems are in place to govern these technologies and how and when the public should be engaged in these decisions. Human Genome Editing considers important questions about the human application of genome editing including: balancing potential benefits with unintended risks, governing the use of genome editing, incorporating societal values into clinical applications and policy decisions, and respecting the inevitable differences across nations and cultures that will shape how and whether to use these new technologies. This report proposes criteria for heritable germline editing, provides conclusions on the crucial need for public education and engagement, and presents 7 general principles for the governance of human genome editing.
Author: Henry T. Greely
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2016-05-30
Within twenty, maybe forty, years most people in developed countries will stop having sex for the purpose of reproduction. Instead, prospective parents will be told as much as they wish to know about the genetic makeup of dozens of embryos, and they will pick one or two for implantation, gestation, and birth. And it will be safe, lawful, and free. In this work of prophetic scholarship, Henry T. Greely explains the revolutionary biological technologies that make this future a seeming inevitability and sets out the deep ethical and legal challenges humanity faces as a result. “Readers looking for a more in-depth analysis of human genome modifications and reproductive technologies and their legal and ethical implications should strongly consider picking up Greely’s The End of Sex and the Future of Human Reproduction...[It has] the potential to empower readers to make informed decisions about the implementation of advancements in genetics technologies.” —Dov Greenbaum, Science “[Greely] provides an extraordinarily sophisticated analysis of the practical, political, legal, and ethical implications of the new world of human reproduction. His book is a model of highly informed, rigorous, thought-provoking speculation about an immensely important topic.” —Glenn C. Altschuler, Psychology Today
Author: Roland W. Herzog
Publisher: World Scientific
Release Date: 2010
Ever since the birth of molecular biology, the tantalizing possibility of treating disease at its genetic roots has become increasingly feasible. Gene therapy - though still in its infancy - remains one of the hottest areas of research in medicine. Its approach utilizes a gene transfer vehicle ( vector) to deliver therapeutic DNA or RNA to cells of the body in order to rectify the defect that is causing the disease. Successful therapies have been reported in humans in recent years such as cures in boys with severe immune deficiencies. Moreover, gene therapy strategies are being adapted in numerous biomedical laboratories to obtain novel treatments for a variety of diseases and to study basic biological aspects of disease. Correction of disease in animal studies, is steadily gaining ground, highlighting the immense potential of gene therapy in the medical profession. This book will cover topics that are at the forefront of biomedical research such as RNA interference, viral and non-viral gene transfer systems, treatment of hematological diseases and disorders of the central nervous system.Leading experts on the respective vector or disease will contribute the individual chapters and explain cutting-edge technologies. It also gives a broad overview of the most important gene transfer vectors and most extensively studied target diseases. This comprehensive guide is therefore a must-read for anyone in the biotechnology, biomedical or medical industries seeking to further their knowledge in the area of human gene therapy.
Jurassic Park meets The Sixth Extinction in Rise of the Necrofauna, a provocative look at de-extinction from acclaimed documentarist and science writer Britt Wray. A captivating whirlwind tour through the birth and early life of the scientific idea known as “de-extinction.”—Beth Shapiro, author of How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction What happens when you try to recreate a woolly mammoth—fascinating science, or conservation catastrophe? In Rise of the Necrofauna, Wray takes us deep into the minds and labs of some of the world's most progressive thinkers to find out. She introduces us to renowned futurists like Stewart Brand and scientists like George Church, who are harnessing the powers of CRISPR gene editing in the hopes of "reviving" extinct passenger pigeons, woolly mammoths, and heath hens. She speaks with Nikita Zimov, who together with his eclectic father Sergey, is creating Siberia's Pleistocene Park—a daring attempt to rebuild the mammoth's ancient ecosystem in order to save earth from climate disaster. Through interviews with these and other thought leaders, Wray reveals the many incredible opportunities for research and conservation made possible by this emerging new field. But we also hear from more cautionary voices, like those of researcher and award-winning author Beth Shapiro (How to Clone a Woolly Mammoth) and environmental philosopher Thomas van Dooren. Writing with passion and perspective, Wray delves into the larger questions that come with this incredible new science, reminding us that de-extinction could bring just as many dangers as it does possibilities. What happens, for example, when we bring an "unextinct" creature back into the wild? How can we care for these strange animals and ensure their comfort and safety—not to mention our own? And what does de-extinction mean for those species that are currently endangered? Is it really ethical to bring back an extinct passenger pigeon, for example, when countless other birds today will face the same fate? By unpacking the many biological, technological, ethical, environmental, and legal questions raised by this fascinating new field, Wray offers a captivating look at the best and worst of resurrection science. Published in partnership with the David Suzuki Institute.