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Genetic technologies (also known as genetic engineering) are among the most influential developments of recent decades. Whether it’s genetically modified corn, CAR T-cell therapies for cancer, or enzymes in laundry detergents, genetic technologies offer an opportunity to intervene in nature’s genomes – including our own genomes – in a targeted way. This opens up far-reaching possibilities in a wide range of research fields, but also for real-life applications in areas such as agriculture, biotechnology, and medicine. Because of their potential impact on society as a whole, public perception of gene technologies often oscillates between fear and hope. The interdisciplinary research group publishes periodic reports and special topic volumes as a means to better assess and evaluate current developments in this broad field.  

A spotlight on RNA

A good example is the brochure “RNA in Focus: A Current Review by the Interdisciplinary Research Group Gene Technology Report,” which will appear in December. This new publication will look at the growing field of RNA research and the significance and potential of different types of RNA for biology and medicine. This topic will be discussed at the public event “RNA in Focus: A New Beacon of Hope in Modern Medicine,” to be held on the evening of December 12. Anyone who wishes to attend can register here.

Prof. Christopher Baum, a physician and molecular biologist who is Chair of the BIH Board of Directors and Chief Translational Research Officer of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, has himself conducted research for many years in the field of genetic technologies. He is delighted to welcome the interdisciplinary research group to the BIH: “Responsible developments in genetic technologies have facilitated or expanded various fields of research, from stem cell and organoid research to genetic diagnostics and gene therapy. All of these are areas in which scientists at the BIH are also active. Our Institute’s mission is to translate research discoveries into clinical practice. So it’s only logical for the interdisciplinary research group Gene Technology Report, and thus the reflection on the responsible use of these far-reaching technologies, to be based at the BIH.”

The interdisciplinary research group was a long-term undertaking of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities until 2018. From 2019 to 2021 it was funded by the Friede Springer Stiftung as a third-party project. Since January 2022 the group has been based at Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) at Charité. Prof. Boris Fehse, the group’s spokesperson, says: “We are thrilled that our group has found such a fitting new home at the BIH.”

The full Fifth Gene Technology Report (2021) is available here.

The English summary of the Fifth Gene Technology Report is available here.

The BIH’s Gene Technology Report website is available here.

The special brochure on RNA will soon be available here.

You can register for the event on Dec. 12, 2022 here.

Dr. Stefanie Seltmann

Head of Communications, Press Spokesperson

Contact information
Phone:+49 30 450 543 019