CMN Weekly (3 September2021)

Some of the best links we picked up around the internet

By: Gorm Palmgren - Sep. 3, 2021

Top picks

  • A new treatment approach for rheumatoid arthritis uses implanted cells that release drugs in response to inflammation. American researchers from the NIH used CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing of iPSCs to generate a synthetic gene circuit that senses changing levels of endogenous inflammatory cytokines to trigger a proportional therapeutic response. Bioengineered implants in a mouse model system significantly mitigated disease severity as measured by joint pain, structural damage, and systemic and local inflammation.
  • Though RNA-targeting CRISPR–Cas13 systems have significant therapeutic potential, their applications have been hampered because Cas13-based RNA editors exceed the packaging capacity of adeno-associated virus (AAV). To solve this problem, Feng Shang and co-workers have identified and characterised an ultrasmall family of Cas13b proteins, Cas13bt. The researchers fused inactive Cas13bt to the catalytic domain of RNA adenosine or cytosine deaminases. The full constructs were then easily packed into AAV vectors. When the loaded AAVs were transfected to HEK293FT cells, they efficiently edited the RNA target sites.

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  • Chinese researchers have developed a new tool for the rapid authentification of halal food. The assay uses CRISPR-Cas12 and a gRNA targeting the pork cytochrome b (Cyt b) gene to cleave single-stranded DNA probes and turn-on fluorescence. The method allowed specific discrimination of pork meat from beef, mutton, and chicken and yielded a detection limit of 2.7 ng/μL of total DNA from pork meat.

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