/Handheld device could detect CRISPR bioweapons before they spread

Handheld device could detect CRISPR bioweapons before they spread

hazard suits

Countries are ramping up efforts to deal with biological attacks

Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

A HANDHELD device could spot a potential new type of bioweapon made feasible by the latest gene- editing technology.

Researchers around the world are using CRISPR to make gene drives – bits of DNA that, when inserted into a living thing, can bypass the normal rules of genetic inheritance to spread widely in a population within just a few generations.

Gene drives could be used for good, for example to stop the spread of malaria by adding a gene to mosquitoes that renders all …