Scientists at the Institute of Neuroscience (ION) in China have reportedly used gene-editing technology to disable a certain gene vital to sleep-cycle in macaque monkeys. This prototype could create populations of genetically identical monkeys to allow scientists to better study the mechanisms of complex human disorders.
Altering the genome, typically to better understand gene and protein function. This also paves the way for gene therapy.
The introduction of multi-omic research, the advancement of AI and machine learning to improve nearly every aspect of sequencing and data analysis, are just some of the big changes that will only become more prevalent in the future. We spoke to Angela Douglas MBE, Scientific Director of Genetics Laboratories at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, for her opinions on the changing nature of genomics and the trends to watch out for.
A new study published in Cell magazine and co-authored by CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna has suggested a potential solution to the unwanted side-effects of using CRISPR in the body. The study details using a “switch” mechanism which could keep the Cas9 enzyme turned off until it reaches its target site.
A modified version of CRISPR has been used to reverse genetic obesity in two different mouse models without editing any genes. The technique uses the guidance system in CRISPR to target certain genetic sequences and amplifies existing gene activity to ramp up protein production.
The CCR5 gene has been researched by scientists since the 1990s, and has a number of roles which have not yet properly been uncovered. Loss of the gene’s function is known, however, to increase the risk of potentially fatal reactions to some diseases, and has shown an ability to enhance learning in mice.
Baboons can live for up to 195 days with hearts taken from pigs and genetically engineered to avoid extreme immune reactions, three times longer than previous attempts, according to a report published in Nature journal.
The World Health Organization is establishing an expert panel to set guidelines and standards on the ethical and safety issues of gene editing, the body has announced. This follows the recent revelation that a scientist in China claimed he had edited the genes of twin babies to make them HIV resistant.
He Jiankui, the Chinese scientist who stunned the world by announcing the birth of two CRISPR-edited twins this week, has claimed that another woman is already pregnant with a separate CRISPR baby.
Twin girls in China have allegedly been born after having their embryonic genetic code modified using CRISPR. Chinese researcher He Jiankui, from the Southern University of Science and Technology, claims to have turned off a gene called CCR5 to offer total protection against HIV, as well as smallpox and cholera.
Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have used two female mice to create offspring which subsequently went on to have healthy children of their own. While similar offspring were produced from two male mice, they did not survive for longer than a few days.
For the first time, scientists have performed prenatal gene editing to prevent a lethal metabolic disorder in laboratory animals, offering the potential to treat human congenital diseases before birth.