This means that, since she has no skin pigment, under ordinary environmental conditions she is completely white with pink eyes. Alba is not green all the time. She only glows when illuminated with the correct light.
A game-changing genetic engineering technique Have you heard? A revolution has seized the scientific community. Within only a few years, research labs worldwide have adopted a new technology that facilitates making specific changes in the DNA of humans, other animals, and plants. Compared to previous techniques for modifying DNA, this new approach is much faster and easier.
This name refers to the unique organization of short, partially palindromic repeated DNA sequences found in the genomes of bacteria and other microorganisms. While seemingly innocuous, CRISPR sequences are a crucial component of the immune systems  of these simple life forms.
Just like us, bacterial cells can be invaded by viruses, which are small, infectious agents. If a viral infection threatens a bacterial cell, the CRISPR immune system can thwart the attack by destroying the genome of the invading virus .
The genome of the virus includes genetic material that is necessary for the virus to continue replicating.
How does it work? These regions are composed of short DNA repeats black diamonds and spacers colored boxes. When a previously unseen virus infects a bacterium, a new spacer derived from the virus is incorporated amongst existing spacers.
The molecular machinery cuts up and destroys the invading viral genome. Figure adapted from Molecular Cell 54, April 24, . These spacers are derived from DNA of viruses that have previously attacked the host bacterium .
If another infection by the same virus should occur, the CRISPR defense system will cut up any viral DNA sequence matching the spacer sequence and thus protect the bacterium from viral attack.
If a previously unseen virus attacks, a new spacer is made and added to the chain of spacers and repeats.
The specificity of CRISPR-based immunity in recognizing and destroying invading viruses is not just useful for bacteria. Creative applications of this primitive yet elegant defense system have emerged in disciplines as diverse as industry, basic research, and medicine.
CRISPR-based immunity can be employed to make these cultures more resistant to viral attack, which would otherwise impede productivity. Danisco scientists were studying a bacterium called Streptococcus thermophilus, which is used to make yogurts and cheeses.
Certain viruses can infect this bacterium and damage the quality or quantity of the food. In the Lab Beyond applications encompassing bacterial immune defenses, scientists have learned how to harness CRISPR technology in the lab  to make precise changes in the genes of organisms as diverse as fruit flies, fish, mice, plants and even human cells.
A change in the sequence of even one gene can significantly affect the biology of the cell and in turn may affect the health of an organism. CRISPR techniques allow scientists to modify specific genes while sparing all others, thus clarifying the association between a given gene and its consequence to the organism.
Once localized to the DNA region of interest, the molecular machinery can silence a gene or even change the sequence of a gene Figure 2! This type of gene editing can be likened to editing a sentence with a word processor to delete words or correct spelling mistakes.
One important application of such technology is to facilitate making animal models with precise genetic changes to study the progress and treatment of human diseases.
During gene silencing, the cell attempts to repair the broken DNA, but often does so with errors that disrupt the gene—effectively silencing it. For gene editing, a repair template with a specified change in sequence is added to the cell and incorporated into the DNA during the repair process.
The targeted DNA is now altered to carry this new sequence.Paul Kingsnorth is a writer and poet living in Cumbria, England. He is the author of several books, including the poetry collection Kidland and his fictional debut The Wake, winner of the Gordon Burn Prize and the Bookseller Book of the Year Award.
Kingsnorth is the cofounder and director of the Dark Mountain Project, a network of writers, artists, and thinkers. FROM BREEDING TO TRANSGENIC ART "GFP Bunny" is a transgenic artwork and not a breeding project.
The differences between the two include the principles that guide the work, the procedures employed, and the main objectives. The desire to eradicate disease is the desire to help others; it is a moral impulse derived from our best social instincts.
The expression of this desire through advanced science provides us with new methods of preventing disease. Why the future doesn’t need us. Our most powerful 21st-century technologies – robotics, genetic engineering, and nanotech – are threatening to make humans an endangered species.
From the. To detect the presence of neighboring vegetation, shade-avoiding plants have evolved the ability to perceive and integrate multiple signals. Among them, changes in light quality and quantity are central to elicit and regulate the shade avoidance response. The earliest instances of what might today be called genetic algorithms appeared in the late s and early s, programmed on computers by evolutionary biologists who were explicitly seeking to model aspects of natural evolution.