What The First Genetically Modified Squid Means for Science : Short Wave The first genetically altered squid is here. NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce explains how this breakthrough was made and why it's a game changer for scientists who study these critters.
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Gene-Altered Squid Could Be The Next Lab Rats

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Gene-Altered Squid Could Be The Next Lab Rats

Gene-Altered Squid Could Be The Next Lab Rats

Gene-Altered Squid Could Be The Next Lab Rats

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/900886442/901128815" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

On the left is an unmodified hatchling of a longfin inshore squid (Doryteuthis pealeii). The one on the right was injected with CRISPR-Cas9 targeting a pigmentation gene before the first cell division. It has very few pigmented cells and lighter eyes. Karen Crawford hide caption

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Karen Crawford

On the left is an unmodified hatchling of a longfin inshore squid (Doryteuthis pealeii). The one on the right was injected with CRISPR-Cas9 targeting a pigmentation gene before the first cell division. It has very few pigmented cells and lighter eyes.

Karen Crawford

Until recently, cephalopod research has been hindered by the fact that there's been no way to manipulate squid or octopus genes. But all that has changed with the first genetically altered squid. NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce explains how this breakthrough was made at the Marine Biological Laboratory and why it's a game changer for scientists who study these critters.

Read Nell's story here, and check out more of her reporting on cephalopods here and here.

Email the show at shortwave@npr.org.

This episode was produced and fact-checked by Yowei Shaw and edited by Viet Le.