Māori @ MIT – Doug Jones on gene editing, research collaboration and life in the US

doug jonesHarkness Fellow Doug Jones is coming to the end of his time in the US, where he has been based at MIT and travelling around the US to undertake research.

He has been blogging along the way about genetics, emerging technologies and how the public receives them. All the way his wife and children have been by his side.

Here are links to Doug’s posts from the road…

You’re never too old to learn new tricks

“The weather and temperature has dropped and we were in the depths of autumn or ‘fall’ here in Boston – lovely and orange but getting cold. We are currently in transit in San Francisco and Honolulu to meet with US Fish and Wildlife staff, native Hawaiian representatives and University of Hawaii lecturers to gather their perspectives of my research and gene editing.”

Read the post in full here.

Snakes and ladders

“In educating the public or looking for consent it’s important to note the role of the media, the government, the scientists or community leaders. Words and the links people make with words really matter. Edy MacDonald’s work at DOC has picked up on this, and I’ve found similar evidence here in the US on their perceptions of gene editing.”

Read the post in full here.

Mother, Martha, and mahi in Nantucket

“New England province (the North East of the US which includes Boston and the Islands) has the highest incidents of Lyme disease in the world, and is of huge concern to the people of this area. The conversation includes discussions on genetic tools to make mice resistant to Lyme and/or ticks, and minimise the transfer of this disease. It’s an open conversation, where the technology hasn’t yet been created, but the conversations are guiding the design of options known as open science.”

Read the post in full here.

Gene editing in Aotearoa

“Gene editing – anything with the word gene or genetic can freak people out! It means different things to different people, and that is part of the problem…that there is no shared understanding of what it is. Or, you don’t really know what it is, you don’t really care, and you’re not so worried about it.”

Read the post in full here.

Maori @ MIT part 1

“Our manu and native species are losing to the possums, rats, mice and stoats. Trapping and hunting will only do so much. 1080 – people love it or hate it and no one is willing to listen to anyone or look at the facts without some emotion for or against. Meanwhile, approximately 25 Million native chicks and eggs are killed by invasive predators.”

Read the post in full here.

Up, up and away

“What I’ve observed is a MIT culture of collaboration, hard work, ambition, very smart people with a side of fun. I have already been invited to present to a class from Harvard University next week, and have a number of engagements planned while I’m here for the next 3 months. So it will be a busy few months.”

Read the post in full here.