more on the modding of one of YHVH’s wonderful creations, the chicken, for no good reason at all..
Scientists have used the gene-editing technology known as CRISPR to create chickens that have some resistance to avian influenza, according to a new study that was published in the journal Nature Communications on Tuesday. From a report:
The study suggests that genetic engineering could potentially be one tool for reducing the toll of bird flu, a group of viruses that pose grave dangers to both animals and humans. But the study also highlights the limitations and potential risks of the approach, scientists said. Some breakthrough infections still occurred, especially when gene-edited chickens were exposed to very high doses of the virus, the researchers found. And when the scientists edited just one chicken gene, the virus quickly adapted. The findings suggest that creating flu-resistant chickens will require editing multiple genes and that scientists will need to proceed carefully to avoid driving further evolution of the virus, the study’s authors said.
The research is “proof of concept that we can move toward making chickens resistant to the virus,” Wendy Barclay, a virologist at Imperial College London and an author of the study, said at a news briefing. “But we’re not there yet.” Some scientists who were not involved in the research had a different takeaway. “It’s an excellent study,” said Dr. Carol Cardona, an expert on bird flu and avian health at the University of Minnesota. But to Dr. Cardona, the results illustrate how difficult it will be to engineer a chicken that can stay a step ahead of the flu, a virus known for its ability to evolve swiftly. “There’s no such thing as an easy button for influenza,” Dr. Cardona said. “It replicates quickly, and it adapts quickly.”