New Technology Accelerates Crop Improvement with CRISPR

Summary

Researchers know how to make precise genetic changes within the genomes of crops, but the transformed cells often refuse to grow into plants. One team has devised a new solution.

Wheat Plants

Scientists who want to improve crops face a dilemma: it can be difficult to grow plants from cells after you’ve tweaked their genomes.

A new tool helps ease this process by coaxing the transformed cells, including those modified with the gene-editing system CRISPR-Cas9, to regenerate new plants. Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Specialist Juan M. Debernardi and Investigator Jorge Dubcovsky, together with David Tricoli at the University of California, Davis Plant Transformation Facility, Javier Palatnik from Argentina, and colleagues at the John Innes Centre, collaborated on the work. The team reports the technology, developed in wheat and tested in other crops, October 12, 2020, in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

“The problem is that transforming a plant is still

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Researchers apply CRISPR technology to eliminate fusion genes present in tumor cells

The CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing tool is one of the most promising approaches to advancing treatments of genetic diseases – including cancer -, an area of research where progress is constantly being made.

Now, the Molecular Cytogenetics Unit led by Sandra Rodríguez-Perales at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) has taken a step forward by effectively applying this technology to eliminate so-called fusion genes, which in the future could open the door to the development of cancer therapies that specifically destroy tumors without affecting healthy cells. The paper is published in Nature Communications.

Fusion genes are the abnormal result of an incorrect joining of DNA fragments that come from two different genes, an event that occurs by accident during the process of cell division. If the cell cannot benefit from this error, it will die and the fusion genes will be eliminated.

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What is CRISPR? A close look at the gene editing technology that won the Chemistry Nobel prize

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences yesterday awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna for their work on CRISPR, a method of genome editing.

A genome is the full set of genetic “instructions” that determine how an organism will develop. Using CRISPR, researchers can cut up DNA in an organism’s genome and edit its sequence.

CRISPR technology is a powerhouse for basic research and is also changing the world we live in. There are thousands of research papers published every year on its various applications.

These include accelerating research into cancers, mental illness, potential animal to human organ transplants, better food production, eliminating malaria-carrying mosquitoes and saving animals from disease.

Charpentier is the director at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin, Germany and Doudna is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Both played a crucial role in demonstrating how

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Nobel Prize for CRISPR honors two great scientists

(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)

(THE CONVERSATION) The gene-editing technique CRISPR earned the 2020 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Recognition of this amazing breakthrough technology is well deserved.

But each Nobel Prize can be awarded to no more than three people, and that’s where this year’s prize gets really interesting.

The decision to award the prize to Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier involves geopolitics and patent law, and it pits basic science against applied science.


Editing letters in the book of life

CRISPR is a powerful gene-editing tool that has taken molecular biology from the typewriter to the word processor age. One could say it’s like Microsoft Word for the book of life. CRISPR allows a researcher to find not just a gene, but a very specific part of a gene and change it, delete it or add a completely

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The CRISPR story: How basic research discovery changed science

When Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier embarked on the project that would change science and medicine in incalculable ways, their intentions were much more muted. Theirs was a basic research inquiry into bacterial immune systems, not an attempt to develop a new tool to manipulate the genetic code.

Yet their discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 editing complex, recognized Wednesday with the Nobel Prize in chemistry, has ignited what even scientists allergic to hyperbole routinely call a revolution in how science is conducted. Researchers and companies are regularly discovering new applications in agriculture, diagnostics, and therapeutic development.

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CRISPR gene editing pioneers win the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

CRISPR gene editing promises to revolutionize medical science, and two of its pioneers are getting a prestigious award for their efforts. Emmanuelle Charpentier (shown at left) and Jennifer Doudna (right) have received the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their roles in discovering the CRISPR/Cas9 “genetic scissors” used to cut DNA. Charpentier found the key tracrRNA molecule that bacteria use to cut and disable viruses, and collaborated with RNA expert Doudna to eventually ‘reprogram’ the scissors to cut any DNA molecule at a specific point, making the gene editing method viable.

As with some scientific discoveries, there’s some controversy. While the team including Charpentier and Doudna published its work in June 2012, seven months before a Broad Institute-led group released its own findings, it didn’t include certain aspects Broad used when it started patenting gene editing methods in 2014. That led to a patent battle that’s still raging today, with

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Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded for CRISPR genome editing to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna for the development of a method for genome editing.



Jennifer Doudna, Emmanuelle Charpentier posing for the camera: The American biochemist Jennifer A. Doudna (left) and French microbiologist Emmanuelle Charpentier, pictured together in 2016.


© Alexander Heinl/picture alliance/Getty Images
The American biochemist Jennifer A. Doudna (left) and French microbiologist Emmanuelle Charpentier, pictured together in 2016.

They discovered one of gene technology’s sharpest tools: the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors. Using these, researchers can change the DNA of animals, plants and micro-organisms with extremely high precision.

Before announcing the winners on Wednesday, Göran K. Hansson, secretary-general for the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, said that this year’s prize was about “rewriting the code of life.”

The CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing tools have revolutionized the molecular life sciences, brought new opportunities for plant breeding, are contributing to innovative cancer therapies and may make the dream of curing inherited diseases come true, according to a press release from the Nobel committee.



a close up of a book: Doudna and Charpentier are the first two women to jointly win the chemistry prize.


© Niklaus Elmehed/Nobel Prize
Doudna

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Synthego Pioneers Next-Generation CRISPR Light Control Technology

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Oct. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Synthego, the genome engineering company, today announced the design of new foundational technology for standardized precision and control of CRISPR-based gene editing inside cells using light. Described in Nature Communications, Synthego researchers developed a new class of guide molecules, CRISPRoff™, a synthetic sgRNA that fragments in response to light, enabling precise temporal and spatial control of double-strand breaks created during gene editing. The publication follows Synthego’s extension of the collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Genome Editing Consortium to further standards for precise and reproducible gene editing in therapeutic development.

“CRISPRoff and our NIST Consortium collaboration highlight our deep commitment and ability to create cutting-edge CRISPR platforms to standardize predictable gene editing across a variety of disease areas, helping drive the industry forward,” said Robert Deans, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of Synthego. “The ability to

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The women who developed CRISPR just won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemis

The two women who developed the CRISPR gene-editing technique have won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the Nobel Committee announced today. The French scientist Emmanuelle Charpentier and American scientist Jennifer A. Doudna were awarded the world’s most prestigious science recognition “for the development of a method for genome editing.” It’s the first time that two women have shared the Nobel Prize.

Charpentier and Doudna discovered the CRISPR “genetic scissors” editing technique in 2012. Since then there has been an explosion of research around the world using their discovery. Already their technique has allowed scientists to create crops that can withstand drought and pests, and it is believed that one day CRISPR will allow for

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Scientists use CRISPR to edit structural gene in organism that causes leishmaniasis — ScienceDaily

Scientists are planning for Phase 1 human trials of a vaccine they developed by using CRISPR gene-editing technology to mutate the parasite that causes leishmaniasis, a skin disease common in tropical regions of the world and gaining ground in the United States.

In a series of animal studies, the vaccine protected mice against the disease — including mice with compromised immune systems and mice exposed to the parasite in the same way humans are, through the bite of infected sand flies.

“If you assure protection in the sand fly model, then you have a good shot at a real vaccine,” said Abhay Satoskar, a co-lead investigator of the work and professor of pathology and microbiology at The Ohio State University.

The team applied the new technology to the century-old Middle Eastern practice of leishmanization — deliberately introducing the live parasite to the skin to create a small infection that, once

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