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Over the last 15 to 20 years, the development of advanced tools such as zinc-finger nucleases and CRISPR has provided access to specific genes in the genome of individual organisms, unveiling information about how particular genes work, what controls the development of individual organisms, and how to manipulate or modify genes to function in a particular way. In more recent years, efforts have become increasingly focused on the development of applications that could have significant impacts on the public.

As a distinguished professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Utah School of Medicine and member of the Nuclear Control of Cell Growth and Differentiation Program at Huntsman Cancer Institute, Dr. Dana Carroll brings a wealth of information on these topics, discussing everything from how to define a ‘gene’—and why it’s not as easy as it may sound—to ex vivo therapy and autologous bone marrow transplants for sickle cell disease. He explains DNA repair activities and the dependence on homologous repair for the right corrections, and a growing area of research that’s looking at how to modify cells so as to ensure that they carry out homologous repair. He also discusses his current research efforts on gene editing techniques in both plants and animals and the promise of gene editing tools for the future of animal and plant life. Tune in to hear the full conversation.

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