As much as we'd love to jump on the bandwagon and cover the infiltration of alien DNA in our genome, the funding isn't quite there, yet. Luckily, the inclusion of CRISPR/Cas9 as a major plot point in the season finale Monday does give us a convenient excuse to get in on the action.
CRISPR/Cas9, as we have been writing about, is a cutting-edge gene-editing technique that has been heralded as a breakthrough technology, inspiring high expectations for -- as well as warnings about -- potential uses.
Anne Simon, a University of Maryland virologist who also happens to be a science advisor on "The X-Files," has taken note. She co-wrote the finale's story, along with microbiologist Margaret Fearon and show creator Chris Carter. The plot involves humans who are stripped of their immune systems. This is accomplished via CRISPR/Cas9.
"He asked me to come up with something that would kill off everybody," she said of Carter Wednesday. "That took a lot of thought. It had to be something simple enough to get across to the public. I began thinking if you just got rid of the ADA gene -- I teach this -- you would not have an immune system. That’s the Boy in the Bubble syndrome. The idea is that a long time ago [the aliens and human conspirators] must have put something in our genome that would get rid of the gene."