Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Use of Clustered, Regularly Inter-spaced, Short, Palindromic Repeats

fortunascorner | “CRISPRs are elements of an ancient system that protects bacteria, and other, single-celled organisms from viruses, acquiring immunity to them by incorporating genetic elements from the virus invaders,” Mr. Wadhwa wrote.  “And, this bacterial, antiviral defense serves as an astonishingly cheap, simple, elegant way to quickly edit the DNA of any organism in the lab.  To set up a CRISPR editing capability, a lab only needs to order an RNA fragment (costing about $10) and purchase off-the-shelf chemicals and enzymes for $30 or less.”  
“Because CRISPR is cheap, and easy to use, it has both revolutionized, and democratized genetic research,” Mr. Wadhwa observes.  “Hundreds, if not thousands of labs are now experimenting with CRISPR-based editing projects.” And, access to the WorldWide Web, provides instantaneous know-how, for a would-be terrorist — bent on killing hundreds of millions of people.  As Mr. Wadhwa warns, “though a nuclear weapon can cause tremendous, long-lasting damage, the ultimate biological doomsday machine — is bacteria, because they can spread so quickly, and quietly.”
“No one is prepared for an era, when editing DNA is as easy as editing a Microsoft Word document.”
This observation, and warning, is why the current scientific efforts aimed at developing a vaccine for the plague; and, hopefully courses of action for any number of doomsday biological weapons.  With the proliferation of drones as a potential method of delivery, the threat seems overwhelming.  Even if we are successful in eradicating the world of the cancer known as militant Islam, there would still be the demented soul, bent on killing as many people as possible, in the shortest amount of time, no matter if their doomsday bug kills them as well.  That’s why the research currently being done on the plague is so important.  
As the science fiction/horror writer Stephen King once wrote  “God punishes us for what we cannot imagine.”