Genome editing

Altering the genome, typically to better understand gene and protein function. This also paves the way for gene therapy.

Gene Editing Induces Hallucinations in Mice

Scientists have genetically engineered neurons in mice to give them hallucinations. The research could help identify why certain people experience hallucinations, associated with several mental illnesses, and inform new treatments. Two genes were inserted into the neuron cells of the mice’s visual cortex, the part of the brain that processes visual information. One coded for […]

Plant Mitochondrial DNA Genetically Engineered for the First Time

Scientists have genetically engineered plant mitochondrial DNA for the first time. This advancement could enable a more secure food supply for the future. Low mitochondrial diversity in plants leaves whole species vulnerable to diseases. If all plants are genetically similar, very few individuals will have resistance to certain diseases, which will give a low survival […]

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 […]

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.

Chinese Rules on Global Use of Genetic Material Come into Effect

From 1 July, international scientists looking to use Chinese genetic material and data must have at least on Chinese collaborator working with them, according to new regulations. This follows a trend as individuals and organisations realise the value of their genetic data.

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.

Stem Cells Edited In Vivo For the First Time

Researchers have genetically modified stem cells inside the bodies of mice for the first time, in a study that could lead eventually to new potential for stem cell therapies. The study also shows potential for studying genetically-edited stem cells within the body, rather than in the lab.

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.”

Fungus Genetically Modified to Wipe Out Malaria-Carrying Mosquitoes

University of Maryland scientists have genetically modified a fungus to produce a toxin fatal to mosquitoes, in order to reduce the malaria death toll they currently cause. An out-of-lab trial destroyed a mosquito population almost entirely within 45 days, leading some to criticise the work as “too dangerous” for the real world.

Gold Nanoparticles Improves CRISPR Cell Delivery

Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have proposed gold nanoparticles as a new way to deliver CRISPR Cas-12a to cells. These nanoparticles can be filled with the necessary CRISPR components to edit genes cleanly, with between 10% and 20% of targeted cells successfully edited during lab studies. No toxic side effects were found from the process.

First Lifeform Created with Fully Redesigned DNA

Cambridge University scientists have created the first living organism with fully synthetic DNA radically altered from its original state. The strain of E coli was given a smaller set of genetic instructions than its counterparts, proving life can continue with such a restricted code.

Genomic Innovations Will Bring Increased Legal Action

Questions around legality, protecting privacy and ensuring quality of data in DNA sequencing all need answering, a symposium recently held at the University of Minnesota has announced. LawSeq, a $2 million project looking to solve the issue of privacy and legality in sequencing, is exploring how to ensure the legal world catches up with current science.

The One-Stop Guide to Genomic Data, Courtesy of Front Line Genomics

Front Line Genomics’ “Biodata Analysis and Management – Genome Analytics, Interoperability, and Data Life Cycle” report isn’t just an update of our old Genomic Data 101 guides: packed with new information on AI and machine learning,. data discoverability and data interoperability, it is much much more.