• Under that system, synthetic organisms would die without regular access to a specific amino acid, found only in the containment area. As a result, no cells would be able to survive long in the wild, cutting down the risk of an accidental release, as well as the inherent danger of creating and experimenting with new self-replicating organisms.
  • The system goes even further, targeting the DNA itself. Not only will the cells die, but the genetic information used to create them will be gone without a trace. That’s particularly useful for commercial GMOs, since companies treat their GMOs’ genes as trade secrets.The system is even precise enough to target specific portions of DNA, so a company could delete only the modified genes, leaving the others untouched.
  • The new system achieves that precision through CRISPR, a gene-editing system that’s seen as one of the most exciting current developments in biotech. CRISPR is a collection of naturally occurring molecules that, when deployed right, can be used to cut out and replace sections of a cell’s DNA.

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