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Jan 22, 2017

CRISPR’s potential to improve farmed salmon seems both big and promising

Even if the World Wide Web, heart transplantations, robots and self-driving cars are more visible innovations of the post world war era, the development of new genetic technologies can end up altering life itself to a much larger extent than any of those “celebrity” technologies. The latest genetic buzz-word is CRISPR, a technique for editing targeted genes in the double helix in a much faster and less costly way than any earlier method. In a recent meeting in Oslo, the Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board, appointed and paid for by the Norwegian government,  invited to a conference where the new technology was going to be explained and discussed, ending up with the crucial question if the fish farming industry is at all ready for CRISPR. Will positive results of planned experiments, that aim at using CRISPR to create a salmon free of Sea Lice, a problem that cost the industry hundreds of millions every year, be farmed and marketed the instant is available? The short answer to the question is no. The somewhat longer answer is yes if Europe’s consumers should suddenly change their minds and start trusting food that is genetically altered.  Read the article.

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