BBC Inside Science
UK Science post Brexit; GMOs vs Gene Editing regulation; Identical Twins That Aren't Indentical
Thursday, 14 January
In the new EU-UK deal, the UK is to be an associate member of the latest EU research funding round, known as Horizon Europe. Costing around £2bn to take part, what can UK scientists now do and what has changed? UKRI CEO Otteline Leyser and the Wellcome Trust EU specialist Beth Thompson discuss ways in which UK researchers are breathing a sigh of relief.
Of all the ways the UK can now diverge from the EU, DEFRA is currently holding an open consultation on whether to tweak the current GMO regulations so as not to include CRISPR-style Genetic Editing. The EU is coincidentally looking at the same issue. John Innes Centre's Janneke Balk works on making strains of wheat that have a higher level of iron for nutritional fortification. Interim head of the Roslin Institute in Scotland Bruce Whitelaw thinks developing disease resistance in farm animals is a potentially profitable area. Both agree the GMO regulations should be more tightly specified to bring clarity and opportunity for innovation.
In Iceland, Kari Stefansson's company Decode Genetics analyze the genetic codes of most of the population of Iceland. This has allowed them to look at the parents, siblings, and offspring of identical twins, and identify how early genetic differences between them develop. And it's very early indeed. Given that identical twins studies are so often used to address issues surrounding the so-called Nature-vs-Nurture debate, the findings, published in the Journal Nature, are striking.
Presenter by Marnie Chesterton
Produced by Alex Mansfield
Made in association with the Open University.