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Crop Biotech Update

Expert Tackles Sustainability Solutions of Gene Editing

November 24, 2021

"No discovery has been greeted with more excitement and coverage than gene editing," according to Dr. Val Giddings, Senior Fellow at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, in his article published in Open Access Government. Giddings stressed the importance of gene editing in addressing many sustainability challenges faced in health, food, and the environment, and the only limitation that gene editing has is in the power of human imagination.

Among the earliest uses of gene editing was to reduce food waste. Gene editing was used to turn off an enzyme responsible for browning in mushrooms and potatoes, thus, improving their quality and extending their shelf life. Fruits such as strawberries, bananas, and tomatoes, were also improved by plant breeders using gene editing.

In the field of medicine, gene editing has helped restore vision, treat intractable cancers, and perhaps cure HIV. It is expected to contribute more breakthroughs in medical care in the coming years.

The U.S. National Academies of Science conducted 11 studies in the past 40 years on genetic engineering and gene editing. Results of these studies, together with the research findings of hundreds of authoritative bodies, did not show any hint of novel hazards linked with the technology.

Read more from the original article in Open Access Government.

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