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Gene Drive - intervention in the "germline" of natural diversity
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Coronavirus: “intelligent” mutants

Adaptation of SARS-CoV-2 virus to the immune system not purely random

25 February 2021 / Research shows that the emergence of mutations in SARS-CoV-2 are not purely random. Rather, the virus has repair and adaptation mechanisms in its genome that can accelerate the occurrence of particularly dangerous mutations. In the light of these findings, it appears that the most effective strategies to combat the pandemic are those that aim to achieve the lowest possible incidence rates.

Successful opposition to a patent on genetically engineered ‘Parkinson-apes’

Max Planck Society withdraws all claims covering vertebrates

19 February 2021 / Testbiotech has won an important opposition filed at the European Patent Office (EPO). A patent held by the Max Planck Society will now be changed to delete all claims covering genetically engineered vertebrates. In its original form the patent covered many different species from mice to great apes. The animals were to be genetically engineered to develop symptoms of Parkinson disease and for use in experiments.

EFSA: Risk assessment of New GE plants necessary even if no additional genes are inserted

European Food Safety Authority presents new report

18 February 2021 / The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published another report on the risk assessment of plants developed with new genetic engineering (New GE). The report includes plants generated using gene scissor CRISPR/Cas applications where no new additional genes are inserted (so-called SDN-1 applications). The EFSA report shows that detailed risk assessment must be carried out even if no additional genes are inserted. The report is the outcome of a consultation which included Testbiotech.

Disturbance in interactions between GE cotton and the environment

Research shows risk of invasive spread in centre of biodiversity

11 February 2021/ It is known that genetically engineered (GE) cotton is spreading within populations of wild cotton species in Mexico. Resulting offspring are often transgenic and, consequently, produce insecticides or are resistant to the herbicide, glyphosate. A recently published paper has now shown that there are disturbances in the interactions between the transgenic offspring and their environment. This finding has serious implications for the protection of wild cotton species because Mexico is one of the centres of origin for cotton.

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