Public Awareness of Benefits of Gene Editing Important to Advancement of the Technology

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Farmscape for January 24, 2023

Full Interview 9:48 Listen

An Associate Professor with McGill University suggests it’s important to inform the public of the enormous potential the application of gene editing technology offers agriculture. “Successes and Opportunities with Gene Editing” was discussed as part of a Swine Innovation Porc panel discussion held in conjunction with the 2023 Banff Pork Seminar. Dr. Vilceu Bordignon, an associate professor in the Department of Animal Science at McGill University, says there’s been considerable progress over the past decade in the science.

Clip-Dr. Vilceu Bordignon-McGill University:
Gene editing or genome editing refers to a different set of molecular tools that are based on proteins and RNA and they can be used to promote specific changes in the genome, including the replacement or the addition or the removal of single nucleotides or single letters in a very specific site of the genome or a group of letters, a small sequence in the genome.

There has been enormous progress in developing these editing tools over the last decade, from improving precision, efficiency and then also adapting for different applications. It has been widely used in the last decade, mainly for the understanding of fundamental aspects of gene function for example, or how genes contribute to disease. But also, it has been developed for clinical applications including the correction of genetic disease for the treatment of important diseases in humans.

Dr. Bordignon suggests it’s important to make the public aware of the benefits this technology has to offer and the need for continued research. He notes, over the past ten years, there have been more than 35 thousand scientific publications referring to gene editing, which demonstrates the evolution of this technology and the multiple possibilities of its application.

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