Scientists Produce Gene-Edited Chickens to Stop Spread of Flu Virus
British scientists are developing gene-edited chickens designed to be fully resistant to the influenza, or flu virus.
Wendy Barclay is one of the leaders of the gene-editing project. She is a professor of virology at Imperial College London. She said the first chickens will be born later this year at the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
The scientists are using a new gene-editing technology known as CRISPR to change the birds' DNA. The scientists removed parts of a protein on which the flu virus normally depends. That makes the chickens completely flu-resistant.
Barclay said the idea is to produce birds that cannot get the flu and would form, in her words, a "buffer between wild birds and humans."
Health experts say the threat of a human flu pandemic is one of their biggest concerns.
About 500,000 people died worldwide in the last large flu outbreak in 2009 and 2010. The historic 1918 Spanish flu killed around 50 million people.
The greatest fear now is that a deadly form of flu could spread from wild birds into poultry and then into humans. The virus could then become an airborne form that can pass easily between people.
"If we could prevent influenza virus crossing from wild birds into chickens, we would stop the next pandemic..." said Barclay.
Barclay's team of scientists published their research in the journal Nature in 2016. They found that a gene present in chickens makes a protein that all flu viruses depend on to infect a host. Tests of cells created to not have the gene showed they cannot be infected with flu.
Barclay said the plan is to use CRISPR to edit the chickens' DNA so that only one part of the protein is changed. The rest of the bird would be exactly the same as it was before.
Barclay said poultry producers may have concerns about the public's opinions of gene-edited food. She said that people have been eating food from farmed animals that have been changed over many years by traditional breeding.
But she added, "They might be nervous about eating gene-edited food."
I'm Jonathan Evans.
1.flu virus 流感
Wild and farm birds often have a flu virus.
2.public opinions 舆论
These behaviors should be condemned by morality and public opinions.
3.farmed animals 养殖动物
By any measure, what happens to farmed animals today is anti-Christian.
4.depend on 取决于；依赖
Needy and handicapped people depend on government relief for their support.
5.She said that people have been eating food from farmed animals that have been changed over many years by traditional breeding.
over many years 多年以来
Our teaching methods have been developed over many years of teaching.
Scientists have been working for many years to develop an implant that was stable over many years.
6.The rest of the bird would be exactly the same as it was before.
the same as 与...一致
His wind-breaker is the same as yours.
My stand on this is just the same as it was four years ago.
温迪·巴克利（Wendy Barclay）是该基因编辑项目的领导者之一 。她是伦敦帝国理工学院的病毒学教授 。她说，第一批转基因雏鸡将于今年底在苏格兰爱丁堡大学的罗斯林研究所孵化 。
2009年和2010年的爆发的最近一场大流感疫情导致全球约50万人死亡 。1918年西班牙流感造成约5000万人死亡 。
现在最大的隐患是某种致命流感可能从野生鸟类传播到家禽，进而传播给人类 。这种病毒可通过空气传播，很容易在人与人之间传播 。
巴克利的科学家团队在2016年的《自然》杂志上发表了他们的研究成果 。他们发现，鸡体内的一种基因会产生一种蛋白质，而流感病毒依赖这种蛋白质感染宿主 。对没有这种基因的细胞进行测试后表明，这些细胞不会感染流感病毒 。
巴克利表示，家禽生产商可能担心公众对于转基因食品的偏见 。她说，人们吃的食物来自于养殖动物，而这些动物早就经过了多年传统育种的改变 。