Your missing links are here 13 August 2020

Some of the best stuff we picked up around the Internet

By: Karen O'Hanlon Cohrt - Aug. 13, 2020


CRISPR startup CASPR Biotech exploits new extremophilic bacterial nuclease to develop COVID-19 test. The new test can be transported at room temperature and doesn’t require specialised equipment, making it ideal for remote and low-resource areas.


Scientists use CRISPR-Cas13 to target messenger RNAs expressed during early vertebrate development, paving the way for studies that may shed light on how our genes jumpstart the very earliest stages of embryonic development.

Researchers in China and Germany show that clinically licensed sodium ferulate, a compound used in traditional Chinese medicine, can be used as part of an adjustable transcriptional switch that allows the use of on-command genome and epigenome editing with CRISPR-Cas9.

Scientists at Rice University in Texas secure funding to hunt for new naturally-occuring drugs in fungi using advanced CRISPR-Cas techniques.

Transfection of Cas9-expressing Plasmodium berghei parasites with linear donor template improves efficiency of CRISPR-Cas editing. Important technological advance for the organism that is used to model malaria in humans.


Excision BioTherapeutics appoints genome editing expert TJ Cradick, PhD as Chief Scientific Officer. Cradick will lead the company’s CRISPR-based anti-viral programs from research to clinical trials.

Sangamo and Novartis join forces to develop new zinc finger gene regulation therapies for three neurodevelopmental targets, including genes linked to autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability.

Editas Medicine regains full global rights to CRISPR-based eye therapies as original agreement with AbbVie is terminated. Editas continues its lead program with dosing resumed in the BRILLIANCE trial for EDIT-101, a CRISPR-based therapy for the rare genetic eye disease, Leber congenital amaurosis-10.


Kiana Aran, pioneer of CRISPR-Chip technology won the 2020 Pinnacle award from Athena. The award recognises talented and extraordinary women in science and technology. You can read about the extraordinary CRISPR-Chip technology in our interview with Kiana Aran here.

Opinion and Vision

Read a pharmacology professor’s take on how gene editing a person’s brain cells might help to curb the opioid epidemic.

CRISPR's forward march. Gene editing pioneer David Liu and Alexis Thomspon, principle investigator on Bluebird’s beta-thalassemia trial, discuss how CRISPR technologies may move from the lab to clinical trials in a virtual event at STAT.

CRISPR co-discoverer Jennifer Doudna on how the COVID-19 pandemic has expedited development within gene editing.

Round Ups and Interviews

Read about 5 of the latest CRISPR startups that are tweaking the original CRISPR-Cas9 formula to develop new and innovative applications.

Highly informative CRISPR Office Hours episode guesting CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna. This is your chance to get up to speed on CRISPR technology, the applications, what’s happening now and how CRISPR is being used to diagnose COVID-19.

Heh Huh Wow

In a CRISPR first, researchers have generated transparent squid by targeting the pigment-controlling gene TDO. The findings could have huge implications for brain research using squids as a model.


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