Christopher Allan Webber

CRISPR gene drive as a thompson hack?

Christopher Allan Webber at

I listened to this episode of Radiolab on CRISPR last night, and I couldn't stop thinking about this part discussed at the end of the episode about a "CRISPR gene drive"... the idea is, you might want to replace some gene in a population, so you might use CRISPR to edit the gene of a single parent. Then that parent might reproduce, and there's a chance that its child might have it in the population. Natural selection whether it stays or not... it could, very well, peter out of a population.

But then they talked about this idea, which apparently worked on yeast "on the first try", which was to have the parent modify the yeast of the child during reproduction. The parent includes the instructions so that in reproduction, it goes through and edits its new child's DNA, and inserts the instructions on how to have that editor in the child's DNA too.

Holy crap, am I wrong or is that a Thompson hack in DNA form?

[also on my blog]

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warning: spoiler of Vinge Zone of Thought novels

Also suddenly realizing that I had a conversation with @Bradley M. Kuhn about the Skrode riders in A Fire Upon the Deep as effectively being victims of a Thompson hack. Now realizing that this would be one way to pull that off, assuming the Skrode Riders have DNA!

Christopher Allan Webber at 2017-03-04T22:12:50Z

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