Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Chicken Changes to Prevent Disease

Researchers are exploring whether gene editing of chickens could help prevent future pandemics, the Guardian writes.

Outbreaks of diseases like avian flu lead to the culling of millions of birds, in part to prevent the infections from spilling over into humans, but the Guardian reports that researchers like the University of Edinburgh's Helen Sang are looking at CRISPR-based gene-editing to provide a more lasting solution. It adds that Sang and the University of Cambridge's Laurence Tiley first pursued the idea of gene-editing chickens to stop the spread of bird flu but paused their research because the tools weren't robust enough. Now, though, CRISPR has become more common, it notes.

"I think there is an obvious case to improve livestock production … to reduce the transmission of infectious diseases," Tiley tells the Guardian

The Guardian notes that genetically modified organisms are tightly regulated in the European Union and that though the UK may be relaxing those rules, there are still critics of the approach.

The Scan

Wolf Howl Responses Offer Look at Vocal Behavior-Related Selection in Dogs

In dozens of domestic dogs listening to wolf vocalizations, researchers in Communication Biology see responses varying with age, sex, reproductive status, and a breed's evolutionary distance from wolves.

Facial Imaging-Based Genetic Diagnoses Appears to Get Boost With Three-Dimensional Approach

With data for more than 1,900 individuals affected by a range of genetic conditions, researchers compared facial phenotype-based diagnoses informed by 2D or 3D images in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Survey Suggests Multigene Cancer Panel VUS Reporting May Vary Across Genetic Counselors

Investigators surveyed dozens of genetic counselors working in clinical or laboratory settings, uncovering attitudes around VUS reporting after multigene cancer panel testing in the Journal of Genetic Counseling.

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.