“ Take young Researchers, put them together in virtual seclusion, give them an unprecedented degree of freedom and turn up the pressure by fostering competitiveness “ – Watson

Finally the day has come, the Era of Genetic Engineering.

I am always excited about the future for no particular reason, other than it made me see things ‘The Impossible’. I am an unusual science-freak who keeps fantasizing with the possible change the world could witness with the boom of genetic tools.

When someone asks me how would Genetic Engineering change the world ?

“’ Because I believe in it ”, I snap at their face with a smug look. I might sound silly sometimes when I keep boasting of GMO’s – The only saviour of 21st century hunger, but then all that is needed is an unprecedented degree of freedom to think and experiment with science (who cares about ethical issues if it is life changing). When the digital technology took over the world, things we perceived as science fiction became reality. Today the same thing is happening with Genetic Engineering.

This century is the era of Biology and it will affect the daily lives of people as much as computers did in the 20th century from the food we eat, dress we wear, to the way we store datas. For too long science has been locked in the ‘Rupenzel’s tower ’ confined to research laboratories and universities, and it is time that the technology is already being demystified and democratized putting powerful genetic tools in the hands of people who love science and wants to play fun.

Finally the day has come ...
Finally the day has come …

This marked the beginning of innovation in Life sciences when ‘Glowing plants’ were produced in labs, with the luciferase gene from the fireflies transformed to the plant’s genome visualizing the idea of ‘Tree streetlights’. From then a community of young scientists started biohacking things for the cool of science.

I believe that no girl is sexier than the curve of Life (DNA). The life is made up of just four alphabets that gives the instructions, and when we change the guide book we change the being carrying it. The pure curiosity and need for better life lead to today’s Super-muscled pigs, fast growing salmons, featherless chickens and see-through-animals.  This wasn’t possible before a couple years ago when gene-editing was expensive and time consuming. Today with CRISPR anybody with a lab can meddle with the science and it takes hardly few weeks for the experiment. It can definitely change the humanity forever.

Leaving apart the ethical issues, let us be optimistic for a while. Scientists’ today have loftier ambitions than building a new app or social media companies, they want to contribute to the society by re-engineering life itself, and they want to do it outside the walls of barrier. CRSIPR did things what we once thought was Impossible and superficial. In 2015 when the Chinese scientists tried killing HIV infected  cells with the wonder technology, and no sooner did USA announced their first CRISPR Human clinical trial earlier this august. Finally this era is becoming a war of Life science and medical sciences. China did not stop with the cells, but extended the trial to humans with modified immune cells targeted to the lung cancer. The days when cancer could be cured with just a couple of injection doses is not too far.

babiesAlready the CRISPR is being improvised to edit single gene mutations, and in a decade or two we can cure disorders like Duchenne muscular dystrophy, tay-sachs, sickle cell, haemophilia, cystic fibrosis, retinitis and many more to the list. For the first time HITI (Homology integrated targeted integration) mediated CRISPR cas9 system restored blindness in an ambitious project to treat retinitis pigmentosa. Regardless with your personal take on Genetic Engineering, it is going to affect all of us eventually, and people are going to welcome the change as they would have perfectly healthy children, no rare disorders and increased lifespan. Probably, the pros outweigh the cons.

I don’t know when the reality I am talking about science will be a part of our daily lives, (oops sorry some have already penetrated into our lives like GM foods, cow-free milk and meat, synthetic silk) but when it reaches the mass, the change is going to be permanent.

http://www.geneticengg.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/GE-asdf-1024x683.jpghttp://www.geneticengg.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/GE-asdf-150x150.jpgSudharsan VaratharajanGeneticsGMOHealth and MedicineCRISPR,Genetic Engineering,HITI“ Take young Researchers, put them together in virtual seclusion, give them an unprecedented degree of freedom and turn up the pressure by fostering competitiveness “ – Watson Finally the day has come, the Era of Genetic Engineering. I am always excited about the future for no particular reason, other than...When Nature and Science meet, Magic happens !