Gene-Editing ‘Scissor’ Tool May Also be a ‘Dimmer Switch’

In a series of experiments with laboratory-cultured bacteria, Johns Hopkins scientists have found evidence that there is a second role for the widely used gene-cutting system CRISPR-Cas9 — as a genetic dimmer switch for CRISPR-Cas9 genes. Its role of dialing down or dimming CRISPR-Cas9 activity may help scientists develop new ways to genetically engineer cells for research purposes.

Digging Deep For Differences In Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

DALLAS – Dec. 21, 2020 – A UT Southwestern research team has catalogued gene activity in the skeletal muscle of mice, comparing healthy animals to those carrying a genetic mutation that causes Duchene muscular dystrophy (DMD) in humans. The findings, published online recently in PNAS, could lead to new treatments for this devastating degenerative disease and insights into factors that affect muscle development.

Cancer-Fighting Gene Restrains ‘Jumping Genes’

DALLAS – Oct. 29, 2020 – About half of all tumors have mutations of the gene p53, normally responsible for warding off cancer. Now, UT Southwestern scientists have discovered a new role for p53 in its fight against tumors: preventing retrotransposons, or “jumping genes,” from hopping around the human genome. In cells with missing or mutated p53, the team found, retrotransposons move and multiply more than usual. The finding could lead to new ways of detecting or treating cancers with p53 mutations.

Regulators Classify Gene-Edited Rice Varieties with Disease Resistance as Equivalent to Conventional Varieties

The Healthy Crops team, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, have used gene editing tools to develop new varieties of disease-resistant rice that regulators in the United States and Colombia have determined are equivalent to what could be accomplished with conventional breeding.

American Chemical Society’s president comments on award of 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

On behalf of the American Chemical Society (ACS), President Luis Echegoyen, Ph.D., congratulates today’s winners of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry: Emmanuelle Charpentier, Ph.D., and Jennifer A. Doudna, Ph.D. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the prize “for the development of a method for genome editing.”

Danforth Center Scientists Collaborate On $13 Million Bioenergy Project

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded a five-year, $13 million grant to a nationwide research project to genetically strengthen Thlaspi arvense, commonly known as pennycress, for use in sustainable energy efforts.

Scientists Aim Gene-Targeting Breakthrough Against COVID-19

Scientists at Berkeley Lab and Stanford have joined forces to aim a gene-targeting, antiviral agent called PAC-MAN against COVID-19.

Grant will help scientists break new ground in gene editing

A new grant from the National Institutes of Health will allow Iowa State University scientists to continue to develop gene editing technologies to model human disease in zebrafish. The research aims to build new tools to determine which genes have therapeutic potential to treat human genetic diseases that affect the cardiovascular, immune and nervous systems.

“CRISPR: A Screener’s Guide” Headlines the March Edition of SLAS Discovery

The March edition of SLAS Discovery features the cover article, “CRISPR: A Screener’s Guide,” by Carlos le Sage, Ph.D., Steffen Lawo, Ph.D., and Benedict C.S. Cross, Ph.D., (Horizon Discovery, United Kingdom). In their review, the authors discuss how CRISPR-Cas9 systems are being used widely throughout the drug discovery process and the development of new precision medicines.

Opening Up DNA to Delete Disease

Protein editorial assistants are clearing the way for cut-and-paste DNA editors, like CRISPR, to access previously inaccessible genes of interest. Opening up these areas of the genetic code is critical to improving CRISPR efficiency and moving toward futuristic, genetic-based assaults on disease. The DNA-binding editorial assistants were devised by a U.S.-based team of bioengineers, who describe their design in APL Bioengineering.

New CRISPR-based System Targets Amplified Antibiotic-resistant Genes

Researchers have developed a new CRISPR-based gene-drive system that more efficiently inactivates a gene rendering bacteria antibiotic-resistant. The new system leverages technology developed by UC San Diego biologists in insects and mammals that biases genetic inheritance of preferred traits called “active genetics.”