Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

We Just Want Spinach That Tastes Like Chocolate

While Nature News writes that do-it-yourself biohackers might not be able to use CRISPR to resurrect the woolly mammoth, they are starting to use the gene-editing tool in other ways.

"It's, like, the most amazing tool ever," biohacker Andreas Stürmer says. "You could do it in your own home."

Johan Sosa is teaching himself the technique and tells Nature News that once he masters it, he may join an effort at the BioCurious community lab to engineer yeast to produce the milk protein casein as part of an attempt to develop vegan cheese.

Meanwhile, Georg Tremmel, an artist and research fellow in biological-data visualization at the University of Tokyo, wants to use CRISPR to 'de-engineer' carnations sold in Japan that have already been modified to be blue. Based on this, he wants, as Nature News says, "audiences to ponder whether these doubly modified carnations should be deemed any different from unengineered plants with essentially the same genome."

In addition to capturing creative DIY minds, the approach could also be used as part of a more nefarious project, Nature News says, though Todd Kuiken from the Wilson Center says that such fears are overblown as most DIYers have benign goals, like brewing a distinctive beer.