When it comes to how genes will be edited in the future, it’s all about the big picture, says Ian Wright, a professor of genetics at the University of Melbourne and a member of the National Genome Editing Committee.
“The big picture has to be the idea of making sure that we have as many copies of the gene as possible, and that’s what the process will be about.”
He’s not alone in this sentiment.
“When you look at the scientific community, it seems to be a very sceptical attitude towards this idea of gene-editing,” says David Pappas, a biologist at the California Institute of Technology.
“[But] we’ve got people at some universities and other institutes who are actively trying to make progress in this field, and there’s this sense that we should have some kind of control over it.”
And this is precisely where we are in Australia.
The ABC’s science reporter, Sarah Jones, spent two days in Canberra this week to learn more about what we know about gene editing.
But before we can learn more, it will be necessary to know how gene editing will work.
In the UK, gene editing is still relatively new.
But in Australia, a new gene-edited gene is now known as a plasmid (a molecule that can carry genes or DNA).
That means it is a gene that can be inserted into any part of a human body and will be able to alter the genes of the body.
The first step in gene editing involves introducing a gene into a living cell, called the transposon (a tiny, protein-like device that allows a gene to be switched on and off).
After the gene is inserted, it can then be switched off, allowing the gene to stay in the body indefinitely.
There are other ways that gene editing can be used, but the gene-edit is the one that will be the most controversial.
The process of gene therapy is still not clear how we’ll know that gene-editor is safe, but Dr Wright says it’s something that needs to be explored.
Dr Wright is confident that if it’s safe, it’ll be used on many people, including people who have cancer.
But if we know that the gene has no adverse effects on human health, we need to be sure it’s the right one, he says.
For example, Dr Wright has used the gene editing process to correct a gene mutation in a cancer patient, which led to her losing weight.
But he warns that this is not the only way gene editing could be used.
If a patient has a gene for an immune system disorder, such as B-cell lymphoma, the gene could be turned on and it could help fight off infection.
In the past, gene-modification has also been used to treat Parkinson’s disease and the elderly.
The process has a long history in the medical world, but it’s not used on a regular basis, says Dr Wright.
He is cautious about using gene-based therapies on people who already have some form of cancer.
One thing we can be confident about is that it’s going to be safer than the current approach of using a gene-drive to edit DNA.
“The only risk of using gene editing in humans is in cases where there is a tumour, and the gene drive can’t be used to remove the tumour.
Then you would need to make sure that the tumours can’t spread the virus,” he says, referring to an experimental gene-driven treatment for glioblastoma.
What we know and don’t know about the futureOf course, there are many factors that influence how a gene is edited.
What we do know about genetic engineering is that gene editers are not using anything like the same methods as other scientists.
The most common approach is called “dna insertion”.
This involves inserting a small number of DNA sequences into a gene, causing it to be edited.
The editing is done by using a tiny needle and using a machine called a microfluidic (or microfluodeprecision) to insert the DNA into the genome of a cell.
A recent study by Dr Wright and colleagues showed that the technique worked well in mice with mutations in their genes.
There are also more advanced gene-sequencing methods, which have allowed scientists to map genes, but they do not involve editing DNA.
We know that most gene-modified genes will have a few mutations, but this is a relatively small number compared to the many millions of other genes.
And this isn’t the first time scientists have used gene editing to correct gene mutations.
In 2008, Dr Pappes and his colleagues were able to repair a gene in a mouse with a mutation in the gene that causes Parkinson’s.
The researchers say the treatment was more effective than the standard