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New DNA ‘shredder’ technique goes beyond CRISPR’s scissors

April 21, 2019 dna 0
An international team has unveiled a new CRISPR-based tool that acts more like a shredder than the usual scissor-like action of CRISPR-Cas9. The new approach, based on Type I CRISPR-Cas3, is able to wipe out long stretches of DNA in human cells with programmable targeting, and has been shown to work in human cells for the first time.
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CRISPR-based ‘allelic drive’ allows genetic editing with selective precision and broad implications

April 21, 2019 dna 0
Scientists developed a new version of a gene drive that allows the spread of specific, favorable genetic variants, also known as ‘alleles,’ throughout a population. The new ‘allelic drive’ is equipped with a guide RNA that directs CRISPR to cut undesired variants of a gene and replace it with a preferred version. Using a word processing analogy, CRISPR-based gene drives allow scientists to edit sentences of genetic information, while the new allelic drive offers letter-by-letter editing.
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Genetic code of WWI soldier’s cholera mapped

April 21, 2019 dna 0
The oldest publicly available strain of the cholera-causing bacterial species, Vibrio cholerae, has had its genetic code read for the first time. The bacterium was isolated from a British soldier during World War One (WWI) and stored for over 100 years before being revived and sequenced. The results show that this strain is a unique, non-toxigenic strain of V. cholerae that’s distantly related to the strains of bacteria causing cholera pandemics today and in the past.
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Half-hearted: New insight into why the heart doesn’t develop properly in some children

April 21, 2019 dna 0
Investigators have found evidence that the gene Ccdc117 supports the rapid growth of precursor cells needed for proper development of right-sided heart structures. It does so by promoting transfer of iron-sulfur compounds to enzymes crucial for DNA replication and repair. Silencing Ccdc117 impedes cell growth, which may prevent heart structures from developing properly.
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Discovery of ‘kingpin’ stem cell may help in the understanding of cancerous tumors

April 21, 2019 dna 0
Bhatia’s team spent more than six years delving down to the cellular level to examine what they say are previously overlooked cells that form on the edges of pluripotent stem cell colonies. Having characterized these cells, the team also observed them form at the earliest stages of pluripotent cell reprogramming from adult cells.