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CRISPR Gene Drive (Complete guide 2019)

Crispr gene drive - malaria cure and a new way to look at conservation.
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Crispr-cas9 gene drives are a reality with a new study showing efficient eradication of malaria carrying mosquito populations. Gene drive applications for most conservation needs require a gene drive working in mammals and more specifically in rats. Crispr-cas9 gene drives don’t work well in mammals yet, which pushes gene drive applications for conservation into the future. Applying gene drives for conservation purposes also needs a safety mechanism, like a daisy drive system, that doesn’t allow the drive to spread beyond the intended population.



Magazine stories etc. on gene drives:

An Ars Technica story covering the new study eradicating Anopheles gambiae mosquitos in the lab.

General easy to digest information on gene drives.

Part of the publications released when Kevin Esvelt, George Church and colleagues introduced the idea of Crispr-Cas9 mediated gene drives to the scientific community and the public. They decided not to pursue research in the area before telling about the idea, which is very uncommon in the scientific community. They felt that the concept is so powerful and potentially devastating that all research should be open and involve a dialogue with the public.
Later Esvelt has felt that they were too optimistic about gene drives for conservation underestimating how wide a drive can spread.

The website of Kevin Esvelt’s research group at MIT Media Lab. The website covers in detail the history of gene drives, the working of gene drives and safeguards like the daisy drive.

The website of The Outreach Network for Gene Drive Research dedicated raising awareness of the value of on gene drive research for the public good. Partly funded by the the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

A very thorough and interesting article on the potential and dangers of gene drives.

An interesting look at the ambitious conservation efforts in New Zealand and also covering the potential use of a gene drive.

A short open article on Nature journal on gene drives in mammals


Other articles and resources

OPEN ACCESS - The new study from Imperial College London where a population of malaria carrying Anopheles gambiae mosquitos was eradicated with a gene drive.

 This site provides links to random videos hosted at YouTube, with the emphasis on random.

 The original idea for this site actually stemmed from another idea to provide a way of benchmarking the popularity of a video against the general population of YouTube videos. There are probably sites that do this by now, but there wasn’t when we started out. Anyway, in order to figure out how popular any one video is, you need a pretty large sample of videos to rank it against. The challenge is that the sample needs to be very random in order to properly rank a video and YouTube doesn’t appear to provide a way to obtain large numbers of random video IDs.

 Even if you search on YouTube for a random string, the set of results that will be returned will still be based on popularity, so if you’re using this approach to build up your sample, you’re already in trouble. It turns out there is a multitude of ways in which the YouTube search function makes it very difficult to retrieve truly random results.

 So how can we provide truly random links to YouTube videos? It turns out that the YouTube programming interface (API) provides additional functions that allow the discovery of videos which, with the right approach, are much more random. Using a number of tricks, combined some subtle manipulation of the space-time fabric, we have managed to create a process that yields something very close to 100% random links to YouTube videos.

 YouTube is an American video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. YouTube allows users to upload, view, rate, share, add to playlists, report, comment on videos, and subscribe to other users. It offers a wide variety of user-generated and corporate media videos. Available content includes video clips, TV show clips, music videos, short and documentary films, audio recordings, movie trailers, live streams, and other content such as video blogging, short original videos, and educational videos. Most content on YouTube is uploaded by individuals, but media corporations including CBS, the BBC, Vevo, and Hulu offer some of their material via YouTube as part of the YouTube partnership program. Unregistered users can only watch videos on the site, while registered users are permitted to upload an unlimited number of videos and add comments to videos. Videos deemed potentially inappropriate are available only to registered users affirming themselves to be at least 18 years old.

 YouTube and selected creators earn advertising revenue from Google AdSense, a program which targets ads according to site content and audience. The vast majority of its videos are free to view, but there are exceptions, including subscription-based premium channels, film rentals, as well as YouTube Music and YouTube Premium, subscription services respectively offering premium and ad-free music streaming, and ad-free access to all content, including exclusive content commissioned from notable personalities. As of February 2017, there were more than 400 hours of content uploaded to YouTube each minute, and one billion hours of content being watched on YouTube every day. As of August 2018, the website is ranked as the second-most popular site in the world, according to Alexa Internet, just behind Google. As of May 2019, more than 500 hours of video content are uploaded to YouTube every minute.

 YouTube has faced criticism over aspects of its operations, including its handling of copyrighted content contained within uploaded videos, its recommendation algorithms perpetuating videos that promote conspiracy theories and falsehoods, hosting videos ostensibly targeting children but containing violent and/or sexually suggestive content involving popular characters, videos of minors attracting pedophilic activities in their comment sections, and fluctuating policies on the types of content that is eligible to be monetized with advertising.

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