CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology promises several major advances for farmers, including heat-resistant cattle and drought-resistant crops.
Those are two goals that are being pursued by geneticists using the new technology.
Another is to eliminate the malaria-causing parasite from mosquitos. The gene that makes that possible has been identified, but so far the resultant mosquitos have not been competitive enough to crowd out the old mosquitos.
It’s not clear whether it’s CRISPR-Cas9 technology involved, but Semex has signed a deal with a Minnesota-based technology company to alter cattle genetics so cows won’t grow horns. The approach is to knock out the gene that results in horns and replace it with a gene from cattle that grow no horns.
Another goal under research is pigs that grow organs that can be used as transplants in humans.