CRISPR, crispr genome editing system - Part 6

Genome-editing revolution: My whirlwind year with CRISPR

Jennifer Doudna, a pioneer of the revolutionary genome-editing technology, reflects on how 2015 became the most intense year of her career — and what she’s learnt. Illustration By David Parkins Expand Some 20 months ago, I started having trouble sleeping. It had been almost two years since my colleagues and I had published a paper1 describing how a bacterial system called CRISPR–Cas9 could be used to engineer genomes.I had been astounded at how quickly labs around the world had adopted the technology for applications across biology, from modifying plants to altering butterfly-wing patterns to fine-tuning rat models of human disease. At the same time, I’d avoided thinking too much about the philosophical and ethical ramifications of widely accessible tools for...
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‘We all kind of marvel at how fast this took off’

On a warm September afternoon on the verdant campus of Long Island’s Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, an elite cadre of scientists gathered to discuss a simple yet incredibly powerful new genetic technology. Jennifer Doudna was dressed casually in a blazer and jeans, with a scarf tossed gently around her neck to compliment a loose bob of blonde hair. Raised in Hilo, Hawaii, she retains a hint of the friendly islander vibe, even though she’s been recently thrust into the scientific spotlight. A biochemist at the University of California, Berkeley, Doudna is widely credited as one of the pioneers of a genetic technology that lets scientists tweak the DNA of practically any living creature. Known as CRISPR/Cas9, the technique has been...
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Bayer and CRISPR Therapeutics AG join Forces to Discover, Develop and Commercialize Potential Cures for Serious Genetic Diseases

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Leverkusen, Germany and Basel, Switzerland, December 21, 2015 – Bayer and CRISPR Therapeutics have entered into an agreement to create a joint venture (JV) to discover, develop and commercialize new breakthrough therapeutics to cure blood disorders, blindness, and congenital heart disease. CRISPR Therapeutics will contribute its proprietary CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology and intellectual property, while Bayer will make available its protein engineering expertise and relevant disease know-how. It is the first long-term strategic partnership of its kind to make a substantial investment in the development of target delivery systems in an effort to bring systemic in vivo CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology applications to patients. The JV is the first investment by the newly established Bayer LifeScience Center (BLSC), which operates as...
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Mammoth may be resurrected sooner than you think

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Of all the varied and incredible possibilities presented by the controversial new gene-editing technique known as CRISPR-Cas9, perhaps the most intriguing are efforts to bring animals back from extinction. Candidates for de-extinction, as the process is known, include species like the passenger pigeon (the last one died in captivity in 1914), the dodo (last seen in 1662) and the sea cow (1768, a mere 27 years after it had been discovered by Europeans.) These projects are not pipe dreams. Dr. George Church, a molecular biologist at Harvard University who is working on such projects, estimates that a variation of the first new woolly mammoth (which disappeared some 4,000 years ago) may be born as soon as seven years from now. Like...
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Breakthrough of the Year: CRISPR makes the cut

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By John Travis It was conceived after a yogurt company in 2007 identified an unexpected defense mechanism that its bacteria use to fight off viruses. A birth announcement came in 2012, followed by crucial first steps in 2013 and a massive growth spurt last year. Now, it has matured into a molecular marvel, and much of the world—not just biologists—is taking notice of the genome-editing method CRISPR, Science’s 2015 Breakthrough of the Year. CRISPR has appeared in Breakthrough sections twice before, in 2012 and 2013, each time as a runner-up in combination with other genome-editing techniques. But this is the year it broke away from the pack, revealing its true power in a series of spectacular achievements. Two striking examples—the...
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Heredity Is Nobody’s Fault. Until Now.

We are all unwitting players in a genetic lottery. Take a gene called APOE. It comes in three flavors – APOE2, APOE3 and APOE4. All three are considered normal human genes, but people who were dealt an APOE4 face three to five times the average risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease. Since we inherit a copy of the gene from each parent, a few unlucky people will be stuck with two copies of the APOE4 version and face an even higher risk. To put it in perspective, by age 75 about 3 percent of people get Alzheimer’s. For those with double APOE4, that rises to about 30 percent. Now a technology called gene editing could allow us to rig the game....
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The Genetic Revolution Could Curb World Hunger And Pesticide Use

Credit: Roberto Machado Noa/Getty Images The genetic revolution is coming to your dinner plate. Over the past year or so, researchers around the world have begun using a new gene-editing technique that has the potential to help stop world hunger, end the use of pesticides and improve our health. The technique, known as CRISPR-Cas9, allows scientists to change, delete or replace DNA more easily than ever before. Theoretically, this could allow farmers to grow crops that are bigger, tougher and more nutritious. Hypoallergenic peanuts? Wheat that is invulnerable to mildew? Drought-resistant corn or healthier tomatoes? CRISPR could make all these things not only possible, but quick and cheap to produce. As Newsweek pointed out in a feature story published earlier...
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GEN News Highlights: Illumina Invests in CRISPR Platform Developer Desktop Genetics

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Illumina has made a strategic investment in Desktop Genetics (DTG) to advance DTG’s DESKGENgenome-editing software platform, the companies said today. The value of the investment was not disclosed. The investment will focus on integrating the platform with next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology, as well as improving CRISPR genome-editing workflows, Illumina and DTG said. DTG said it will combine Illumina’s investment with funds the software company recently raised from a syndicate of venture capitalists and angel investors. The combined funding is being used toward continued development and commercialization of DESKGEN and core CRISPR algorithms. DTG added that it will also use the funds toward expanding its sales effort and marketing efforts, both aimed at promoting adoption of its technology. DESKGEN is designed...
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Someone Will Eventually Use CRISPR to Try to Make a Dragon or Unicorn

Image: T. Cowart/Flickr The world’s top geneticists decided to spend the vast majority of last week discussing how to keep new genetic editing tools from ultimately destroying the human race. A noble goal, sure. But considerably less time has been spent discussing how genetically editing other species might change the idea of “nature” as we know it. A future where the gene editing technique CRISPR/Cas9 is used by DIY biologists,genetic engineering startups, and even artists create fanciful organisms straight out of sci-fi is not just possible—it’s likely, argue two of the country’s top bioethicists. “Why should we not expect dwarf elephants, giant guinea pigs, or genetically tamed tigers?” Hank Greely of Stanford School of Medicine and Alta Charo of the...
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A new edition of CRISPR promises to make gene therapy ready for human applications

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Though much hyperbole has been used in connection with the gene-editing technology CRISPR, ironically, it may not be nearly enough. It’s difficult to overestimate the significance of a scientific innovation that augurs to fundamentally change what it means to be human. For this reason we at ExtremeTech have been keeping a close eye on developments connected with CRISPR, including a report last week from MIT Press that researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research had developed a way to significantly cut down on “off-target” editing errors when using this pioneering technology. Before diving into the science behind this new edition of CRISPR, let’s summarize what’s at stake: Imagine a world in which humans...
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