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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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