The CRISPR Journal announces the publication of its August 2019 issue. The Journal is dedicated to validating and publishing outstanding research and commentary on all aspects of CRISPR and gene editing, including CRISPR biology, technology, and genome editing, and commentary and debate of key policy, regulatory, and ethical issues affecting the field. The Journal, led by Editor-in-Chief Rodolphe Barrangou, PhD (North Carolina State University) and Executive Editor Dr. Kevin Davies, is published bimonthly in print and online. Visit The CRISPR Journal website for more information.
This press release is copyright Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. publishers. Its use is granted only for journalists and news media receiving it directly from The CRISPR Journal. For full-text copies of articles or to arrange interviews with Dr. Barrangou, Dr. Davies, authors, or members of the editorial board, contact Kathryn Ryan at the Publisher.
1. iCas9: Researchers 'Think Different'
The precision and usability of CRISPR-Cas technology has transformed the field of gene editing. However, the reliance on DNA breakage and natural repair mechanisms can lead to unintended mutations. To address this concern, researchers from Arizona State University have developed an integrase Cas9 (iCas9) approach that uses a catalytically inactive Cas9 coupled with recombinase functionality. The authors tested this tool in multiple eukaryotic hosts and demonstrated both DNA deletion and insertion. This work serves as a framework for the design and testing of RNA-guided recombinases and represents a potentially important advancement in the development of tools that do not rely on endogenous DNA repair for gene editing.
Contact: Xiao Wang (Arizona State University)
2. BEAT Goes On: A computational program to quantify base editing
Base editing technology is an exciting new application of CRISPR-Cas that enables highly efficient, single-base conversions without the introduction of double-stranded DNA breaks. Although there is rapidly growing interest in base editing technology, the prediction of base editor gene editing outcomes tends to rely on imprecise enzymatic mismatch assays, time-consuming single-colony sequencing or expensive next-generation deep sequencing. In the August issue of The CRISPR Journal, researchers at Ohio State University have created a computational base editing analysis tool (BEAT) to analyze and quantify base editing events using traditional Sanger sequencing data in a batch manner. This tool is a forward-thinking approach for base editing research.
Contact: Renzhi Han (Ohio State University)
3. Identifying genetic vulnerabilities in cancer cells via CRISPR-Cas9
CRISPR-Cas9 has shown utility in numerous research platforms beyond gene editing. Its application to genome screening represents a particularly powerful approach for identifying genetic vulnerabilities in cancer cells. In a new study from biopharmaceutical company AbbVie, researchers used this approach to identify novel therapeutic targets that are selectively essential for the survival of certain kidney cancers. This study provides not only a rich resource for the investigation of the VHL (von Hippel Lindau) tumor suppressor protein, but also new insights into genotype-specific therapeutic strategies.
4. Lights! Camera! CRISPR!
Human Nature is a new documentary film that chronicles the entire CRISPR story - from its humble beginnings in salt lakes and yoghurt factories to its revolutionary applications in gene therapy, editing crops and livestock, and much more. In his first major interview for the film, award-winning director Adam Bolt discusses the origins and his hopes for this groundbreaking documentary, which is poised for a theatrical release.