Your Missing Links Are Here (19 February 2021)

Some of the best stuff we picked up around the internet

By: Gorm Palmgren - Feb. 19, 2021

Top picks

  • Bluebird bio has halted a clinical trial after two patients developed leukaemia-like cancer. The trial used gene therapy to treat sickle cell disease by introducing a functional gene - and thus, it is not a kind of gene editing. The cancer is not necessarily linked to the gene therapy, but might have been caused by the chemotherapy treatment used to prepare patients for the ex vivo treated blood stem cells.
  • An international research team led by Rory Johnson from University College Dublin, Ireland, has significantly enhanced the efficiency of CRISPR-Cas9 deletion. The enhancement is obtained by repressing the DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) that controls an early step in nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ). The new method works across diverse cell lines, gene delivery methods, commercial inhibitors, and guide RNAs.




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Heh, huh, wow

  • Research work to produce Ghana's first gene-edited crop with increased vitamin A content has begun at the University of Cape Coast. The project will use CRISPR to knock out the production of an enzyme that converts beta carotene - a precursor of vitamin A - into other products. Sweet potato is very resilient, has a high yield and is adaptable to many environmental conditions expected from climate change.


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