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Whether it’s engineering a monogenetic food crop to resist pathogens, putting in the hornless trait in dairy cows in order to make more efficient and reduce the inhumane practices associated with dairy production, creating a low-cost chemical delivery system that could cure some forms of leukemia, or making custom therapies a reality, gene editing and genome engineering is opening the door to a host of potential solutions for a growing number of problems in the modern world. Dr. Stephen Ekker refers to it as “molecular surgery”—the ability to edit the genome with an unprecedented amount of precision and detail to produce a particular result. He’s Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Director of the Office of Entrepreneurship, and professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the Mayo Clinic, as well as a member of the Genome Writers Guild. He makes for a fascinating and exciting discussion on today’s episode, explaining the importance of education and awareness of gene editing technology, describing how this technology could solve one of the main problems with immunotherapy for patients with cancer, shedding light on where the research is headed, and discussing the ins and outs of the latest developments. Press play to hear the full conversation, and check out genomewritersguild.org for more info.

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