If there’s an official analogy for Cas9, it’s a pair of molecular scissors. Give Cas9 an RNA guide, and it will hunt down the complementary DNA and slice it in two with surgical precision. However, in this, the age of multitasking (HEY! Put down that other screen and pay attention!), being a one-trick pony doesn’t […]
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In today’s world there’s not much you can be sure of, particularly when it comes to understanding the complexities of human cognition. Thankfully, the epigenome offers some much needed explanation, as demonstrated by the insight gained from DNA methylation maps of human neurodevelopment. However, genetic interactions created by 3-D chromosome structure have remained more of […]
Turning gene expression up and down is a powerful use of CRISPR/Cas9. Labs around the world have been hard at work figuring out how to use CRISPR to control gene expression – including both transcriptional activation and repression, and then extending it to control translation and the epigenome. Cas9 can be light-activated, and with some […]
When it comes to gene therapy, blood diseases are prime candidates. Blood cells are constantly turning over, so you can quickly fix the blood supply if you replace the blood-producing stem cells in bone marrow; i.e., hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs). Transplanting marrow from a healthy donor is one approach, but a match can be difficult […]
Earlier this year, Chris Voigt’s lab wrote an automated composer for synthetic gene circuits, which can design circuits to do what you want, all the way down to the DNA sequence. As good musicians know, however, the work doesn’t stop once the composer’s ink dries on the page – the next step is to find […]