CRISPR

Queering the Genome – Are We Ready?

It has been less than a week since the landmark study into the genetics of same-sex sexual behaviour first broke and sparked debate across the twitterverse. There has been much disagreement amongst the scientific and LGBTQ+ communities alike, regarding whether this research should have been conducted at all. Conversely, many have praised the study for […]

Advances in Improving HDR Efficiency for CRISPR Experiments

Despite vast progress in leveraging the CRISPR-Cas9 system for genome manipulation, bottlenecks still remain. Overcoming these bottlenecks is critical to ensure the efficacy of this technology in a clinical context. Several engineering approaches involve inducing a double -stranded break (DSB) to introduce new mutations, which are then repaired by the endogenous cellular machinery. The two […]

New Technique to Store Information in DNA

A new technique that can store information in DNA, known as DOMINO, has been successfully developed by researchers at MIT.  The future of biotechnology and biodata requires an effective method to store information in DNA. Just like a hard drive, the information should be readable, writable and able to be edited. Writable DNA information can […]

First CRISPR Law Prevents DIY Gene Therapy

The first law to regulate the use of genome editing technology has been passed in California.  Senator Ling Ling Chang authored the bill that requires sellers of gene therapy kits to include a label, and a notice prior to sale, stating that the CRISPR kits are not intended for self-administration. The bill is targeting ‘DIY […]

CRISPR Activation Technique Improves Muscular Dystrophy Symptoms in Mice

A CRISPR activation technique has been shown to improve the symptoms of muscular dystrophy disease in mice. Muscular dystrophy is a hereditary condition characterised by progressive weakening and wasting of the muscles. A specific type of muscular dystrophy is caused by mutations in the gene Lama2, which codes for the protein laminin. Mutations in the […]

WHO Releases Statement Condemning Further Germline Genome Editing

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released a statement calling for a stop to germline editing in humans. This is in light of recent controversial experiments in the field which emphasized patient safety concerns. Germline editing refers to the genome editing of reproductive cells. These changes are inheritable, and the technology has the potential to […]

CRISPR Used to Find Genes that Protect Cells from Zika

A CRISPR technique has been used to identify genes in cells that enable them to survive infection of the Zika Virus. It is hoped that this development will lead to future treatments for Zika. Currently there is no vaccine or treatment specific to the Zika virus. If pregnant women contract the disease their unborn children […]

CRISPR Technique Ensures Only Female Offspring in Mice

A CRISPR-based technique has been used in mice to ensure they give birth to exclusively female offspring. This has applications for selecting the sex ratio in livestock. Although offspring sex selection through genetic techniques has previously been achieved in fish and insects, this is the first successful attempt in mammals. Mammal offspring sex selection has […]

HIV Virus Eliminated from Infected Mice Cells

A new CRISPR-based method has managed to eliminate HIV in mice, for the first time potentially curing the lifelong illness of HIV/AIDs. Clinical trials will start next year to identify if the same method could be used to cure humans.   HIV is a virus which attacks the immune cells in the body, leaving it […]

Inscripta’s CREATE Technology Set to Expand CRISPR’s Potential

Inscripta has presented its scalable platform for benchtop digital CRISPR engineering, described as world first, at the 2019 Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution & Design (SEED) conference. The technology, “CRISPR-enabled trackable genome engineering” or CREATE, is meant to remove certain limitations of CRISPR to allow for more wide-reaching research in the future.

New CRISPR-Edited Tobacco is Almost Nicotine-Free

Scientists at the Technical University of Dortmund have grown a type of tobacco containing 99.7% less nicotine. CRISPR was used to disable certain plant enzymes aiding in nicotine production, potentially creating a tobacco to help users quit smoking.

Gene Editing Creates Primate Model for Autism

A joint US-China study has engineered macaque monkeys to express a mutation linked to autism and other human neurodevelopmental disorders. The monkey showed certain behavioural traits similar to humans with the same condition.

Russian Scientist Plans to CRISPR-Edit More Babies

Russian biologist Denis Rebrikov has announced his intentions to produce further gene-edited babies, ignoring the scientific consensus that this should not be done until an ethical framework is constructed to regulate the science involved. Rebrikov’s plans could occur before the end of the year if he receives approval in time.

New “Jumping Gene” CRISPR Directly Inserts DNA

A new experimental version of CRISPR could help fix genes rather than disable them using transposons, or “jumping genes”. This could help move the current “find and delete” purpose of CRISPR to the more useful “find and replace” one.

CRISPR Twins’ Lives Could Be Shortened by Two Years

He Jiankui, the Chinese scientist who created the first gene-edited twin children last year, could have unknowingly shortened their lives by more than 1.9 years. A study into the DNA and death records of 400,000 volunteers in the UK Biobank found the genetic mutations to gene CCR5 were “of quite strong effect.”