Horizon Scanning

During the horizon scanning process, scientific publications are screened and evaluated to identify and analyze possible environmental effects of new technical developments and their applications in the field of genetic engineering/biotechnology considering the precautionary principle. The results of the horizon scanning are made available to the public in form of short summaries. It is an ongoing collection of current literature that does not claim to be complete and is continuously updated.
The current focus of the horizon scanning process can be found → here

Template plasmid integration in germline genome-edited cattle

Scientist at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) evaluated whole genome sequencing data of cattle that have been genetically modified so that they do not grow horns (polled). The cattle were originally modified with TALENs and the polled property was introduced into the cattle genome using a SDN-2/3 approach (original publication: Carlson, DF et […]

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Engineered symbionts activate honey bee immunity and limit pathogens

In this study the bacterium Snodgrassella alvi, known as a symbiotic bacterium in the gut of honey bees, was genetically modified to produce specific dsRNAs to induce RNA interference (RNAi) in varroa mites and the deformed wing virus (DWV). Apparently honey bees that contain genetically modified S.alvi are protected from varroa and DWV. RNAi is […]

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Rapid customization of Solanaceae fruit crops for urban agriculture

This publication describes tomatoes and physalis plants from the Solanaceae family that have been modified by CRISPR/Cas so that they are much smaller in size and flower earlier than other tomatoes. 3 genes were knocked out in the tomato using CRISPR/Cas, which are necessary for the time of flowering, the length of the stem and […]

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The complex architecture and epigenomic impact of plant T-DNA insertions

Scientists detected structural irregularities, unwanted changes and T-DNA (transfer DNA from plasmids) integration by using whole genome sequencing methods after transformation of the plant using an Agrobacterium tumefaciens plasmid. They used a novel sequencing method called Nanopore long-read DNA sequencing technology, that enables the sequencing of long stretches of DNA. Apparently, the integration of T-DNA […]

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Total synthesis of Escherichia coli with a recoded genome

Proteins are composed of 20 amino acids. Those amino acids are determined by a total of 64 codons. Three base pairs of the DNA, also named a codon, are encoding one amino acid. Eighteen amino acids contain more than one codon, which can have an impact on gene-expression. In this study, an Escherichia coli strain […]

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An EU Perspective on Biosafety Considerations for Plants Developed by Genome Editing and Other New Genetic Modification Techniques (nGMs)

The paper examines risks posed by plants produced using new genetic modification techniques (nGMs). For this purpose, a literature survey was conducted from January 2011 to June 2017 and important aspects for a suitable risk assessment were discussed using market-orientated applications in plants. The authors conclude that even small changes in the genome and the […]

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Search-and-replace genome editing without double-strand breaks or donor DNA

Prime editing, a new variant of the CRISPR/Cas toolbox, enables the introduction of deletions, insertions and all 12 options to convert one base enzymatically into another at target sequence(s) in the genome of target organisms. In prime editing, a single strand of the DNA is cut to reduce the occurrence of off-target effects. In addition, […]

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