Vin & Vitenskap: All you need to know about CRISPR
Is it possible to create potatoes resistant to diseases without years of selective breeding? How about one that requires less water? CRISPR gene editing opens up a new world of possibilities. Here is a chance to learn all you wanted to know about the new method but never dared to ask.
Tinkering with the genes of plants and animals started decades ago, but the newly developed CRISPR gene editing technology has revolutionized the field, allowing us to boldly go where no scientist has gone before. But what can we actually do with CRISPR and what are its limitations? Experts in the field tell us what is currently in the works. Are we heading for a glorious future of disease- and trouble-free crops and barnyard animals, or a dystopia of escaped genes and uncontrollable monsters? Or both? What are the legal, economical and practical limits of this new technique?
Our experts of the evening
Margret Veltman has studied the genetics and economics of biodiversity conservation in New York and Stockholm, and is now doing her PhD at the museum. She’s putting her knowledge of both to work in the development of species identification methods for endangered orchids, with applications in wildlife forensics and illegal trade. If CRISPR could be used to cure coffee addictions, then she wouldn’t be interested.
Anders Keim Wulff-Vester is a PhD student in Applied Biotechnology at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). He has experience in genetic modifications of plants through CRISPR gene editing from Canada. His PhD project aims at exploring the possibilities of gene editing of plants for Norwegian conditions, with the potato as a model organism. He really loves his potatoes.
Kai Purnhagen is associate professor in EU and international economic law at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. He got his PhD in EU law and risk regulation at the European University Institute and has worked with trade law and private law at a number of universities in Europe and America, combining behavioral science, economics and safety into law and regulation. Kai is a fond lover of good food and constantly fails to combine this passion with his knowledge of a healthy diet.
Petter Bøckman is a zoologist and museum lecturer here at the Natural History Museum. He is a well-known figure in the media, where he answers all kinds of questions about animals and quirks of the natural world. He grew a beard at 20 and hasn’t looked back since. His daily work consists of teaching school classes and making exhibitions. He prefers instant coffee.
Price: 150 NOK
Includes entrance and a glass of wine or non-alcoholic beverage. The bar will be open during the break.
Schedule for the evening
|18:30||Doors open at Tøyen manor. Welcome drink and mingling.|
|19:00||Introduction by Petter Bøckman|
|19:10||Presentation by Margret Veltman: The essentials of CRISPR and how it can save albatrosses|
|Presentation by Anders Keim Wulff-Vester: Gene editing in plants – mad science?|
|19:45||Break (The bar will be open!)|
|20:15||Presentation by Kai Purnhagen: You want it extra CRISPRY? – A talk about new developments which can save the world or doom us forever?|
|20:30||Panel conversation and questions from the audience|