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Gene-Edited Foods on the Horizon
For generations, farmers and scientists have used a variety of methods to create new breeds of plants and animals. “Just look to the apples in the supermarket as an example,” said Anthony Green of The Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything podcast. Many of today’s apple varieties were created through grafting, a plant breeding process that joins parts from two different plants to produce a new plant.
The latest plant breeding method, gene editing, allows scientists to make precise changes to a plant or animals’ genetic code.
“CRISPR allows for control over genetics that was previously unimaginable,” said Green.
Advancements such as CRISPR could make it possible for scientists to develop drought-tolerant corn and reduced-gluten wheat, as well as other crops able to withstand threats from diseases, pests, and a changing climate.