Your Missing Links Are Here (26 March 2021)

Some of the best stuff we picked up around the internet

By: Karen O'Hanlon Cohrt - Mar. 26, 2021

Top Pick

  • Scientists in the US and Germany report persistent repression of tau expression in the brain using engineered zinc finger protein transcription factors. Tau suppression rescued neuronal damage around amyloid plaques in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. The findings were published in Science Advances and are the results of Sangamo Therapeutics’ preclinical tauopathies programme in partnership with Biogen.

Research

  • Researchers use CRISPR to edit haematopoietic cells to generate a disease model for acute erythroid leukaemia (AEL), a rare form of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) with insuffienct preclinical models and poor prognosis. The new model recapitulated human AEL, shed light on disease mechanisms, and was used for drug screening with known anti-cancer drugs. The findings were published yesterday in Blood.
  • A team at Purdue University, US, has uncovered the structural basis for substrate recognition and cleavage by the dimerisation-dependent CRISPR-Cas12f nuclease, which is also known as Cas14. Cas12f is much smaller than other Type V Cas endonucleases and the newest results may facilitate genome editing applications using this miniature Cas. The findings were published yesterday in Nucleic Acids Research.

Industry

COVID-19

  • Researchers in Singapore engineer a CRISPR-Cas12a variant that enables robust and rapid testing of wild-type and mutant SARS-CoV-2 strains without the need for RNA purification. Using hybrid DNA-RNA guides greatly increased the reaction rate, bringing the test completion time to below 30 minutes. The findings were recently published in Nature Communications.

Reviews

Webinars

  • CRISPR Medicine News will soon host its first webinar: Certainty after CRISPR will discuss the expected and unexpected genetic modifications that may occur during and after CRISPR-Cas9 editing, as well as how one can detect and validate these. Date: April 20, 2021. More details and signup here.
  • Gene inactivation by CRISPRi: Modulate gene expression with PAM-anchored targeting. A sponsored webinar by Horizon Discovery on March 31, 2021. Find webinar registration details here.

Education

  • Aarhus University in Denmark are hosting a virtual Bachelor's level course (5 ECTS) in genetic engineering using CRISPR-Cas from 9-20th August. The course introducues state-of-the-art CRISPR-Cas systems and key applications in genetic engineering with different practical online workshops. Application deadline is 8 April. See here for more information and signup details.

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