Credit: The New Yorker

Rewriting the code of life

“Imagine that an insect is eating your crops. If you have a gene drive and you understand how olfaction works in that pest, you could just reprogram it to go on its merry way. The pest would still be in the ecosystem, but it would just dislike the taste of your crop. That is a much more elegant way of interacting with nature than anything we do now.” We are approaching an age in which the technology to alter DNA will become more widely available. That’s great news. Unless it’s not. According to one researcher at MIT: “My greatest fear is that something terrible will happen before something wonderful happens. It keeps me up at night more than I would like to admit.”

From The New Yorker’s Michael Specter: Rewriting The Code Of Life.