Toggling CRISPR Activity with a Chemical Switch

Researchers design a Cas9 enzyme that cuts DNA only in the presence of particular drug.

 

There are various ways to turn CRISPR/Cas9’s gene-editing activity on and off in cells, such as exposing tailor-made Cas9 enzymes to a particular type of light or to specific drugs. Each technique developed so far has drawbacks—either being complicated or irreversible. So researchers took inspiration from the Cre-recombinase-based method to control gene expression and built a “user-friendly” protocol for reversibly activating and inactivating CRISPR.

 

Read at TheScientist

NIH panel to review proposal for first in human test of CRISPR

  • A federal advisory panel  will review a proposal for the first in human test of CRISPR/cas9 gene-editing technology, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania plan to edit two genes in T-cells using CRISPR in a study aimed at targeting myeloma, melanoma, and sarcoma tumor cells, reports MIT Technology Review.
  • The study proposal will be reviewed by the Recombinant DNA Advisory committee (RAC) at its meeting to be held on June 21 and 22.

Read at BioPharma Dive

‘GM could make pig organs for humans’

A gene-editing method could one day make pig organs suitable for use in people, scientists say.

Prof George Church and colleagues used a technique called Crispr to alter the DNA of pig cells to create a better match for humans.

The early work, in the journal Science, aims to address concerns about rejection and infection by viruses embedded in pig DNA.

If successful, it could be an answer to the shortage of human donor organs.

 

 

Link to story at BBC

Targeting Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria with CRISPR and Phages

Researchers develop a CRISPR-based, two-phage system that sensitizes resistant bacteria to antibiotics and selectively kills any remaining drug-resistant bugs.

 

Using bacteriophages to deliver a specificCRISPR/Cas system into antibiotic-resistant bacteria can sensitize the microbes to the drugs, according to a study published this week (May 18) in PNAS. The approach, developed by Udi Qimron of Tel Aviv University and his colleagues, is a modified version of phage therapy that does not require the delivery of phages to infected tissues and could help offset the pressure on bacterial populations to evolve drug resistance, according to the team.

Unlike classic phage therapy, which uses one or more types of phages to infect and lyse specific bacterial strains, the crux of this new approach is using these specialized viruses to supply CRISPR/Cas to rid bacteria of antibiotic-resistance plasmids in the environment before the microbes are able to infect a host. Each phage is specific to a bacterial species or strain and, using CRISPR, researchers can target a specific bacterial sequence.

 

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