Wednesday, March 17, 2021

CRISPR may Solve Certain Climate Change Problems


    Climate change has become one of the biggest issues facing our life on this world. According to many scientists severe changes in our weather and climate will lead to significantly less agricultural yield. Floods and droughts can destroy existing agricultural land. Even if the land being affected by climate change isn't agricultural land, the Animalia that once existed there, could be driven to rural land and become an invasive species on our crops. 

    CRISPR is a gene editing tool that uses the Cas-9 enzyme to cut out specific genes in our DNA sequence and can insert new genetic code. In 2019 CRISPR was used to cure patients with the hemophilic mutation diseases sickle cell and β-Thalassemia; which usually are treated either by regular blood transfusions, or a bone marrow transplant.

    Dr. Karen Massel of the University of Queensland Centre for Crop Science recently published a review article about using CRISPR for agricultural benefits. CRISPR can benefit our crops by changing its anatomical design to be more water efficient, letting more crops be grown with less recourses. CRISPR can also edit the the ability of proteins to be digested, making crops have more nutritional value. To know what genes to edit in farmed crops the team at UQ find wild variants of the crops and find genes that could make the farmed crops more useful. "These kinds of changes can be so subtle that they are indistinguishable from the naturally occurring variants that inspired them." said Massel. I think the CRISPR modified crops are going to be able to curb the amount of land we will need to feed the world population with climate change.

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1 comment:

  1. I remember learning about CRISPR the potential it has for gene editing a few years ago. It was really interesting to learn how this technology has grown over the years and its applications continue to expand. Thank you for sharing this, I didn't know they were able to use CRISPR in this way to change farming and impact climate change.