“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.
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.”
Analyst Comment: Genetically engineered livestock is coming fast. Beware.