Genome editing, disease resistance and animal welfare

September 3, 2020 6:00 - 7:30

Location: Virtual Room 3


Genome editing involves altering some of the individual letters that make up an organism’s genetic code at precise points. The technology can be used to introduce beneficial characteristics into plants and animals, such as resistance to a specific disease or improved adaptation to different environments. The changes introduced are the same as those that could occur spontaneously in nature.  In this session, we will showcase how genome editing is being researched in institutions across Europe for treatment or prevention of animal diseases. The goal of the research presented here is to improve the health and welfare of farmed animals around the world, and to improve the security of food supplies in low and middle-income countries. We will start by introducing the technology and how it works, and explore how it is being used to manage a range of diseases in salmon, pigs, and cattle. A representative from a company specialised in providing genetic solutions to the farm industry will speak about how the sector is looking at the problem. Presentations will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A session in which the audience will be asked to consider the perspective of different groups (e.g. farmers, consumers, policy makers, researchers, low and middle income countries) and will have the opportunity to put questions to the speakers.

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