Proofreading the book of life: Gene editing made safer | 2/21/2019 | Staff
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The advance of science is something like the wandering of an explorer through an uncharted jungle. Often, the dense undergrowth can seem impenetrable, but at certain privileged moments, a clearing opens, and an entirely new landscape emerges.

Something like this is occurring in the field of biology with the recent discovery of powerful techniques for intervening in the genetic code of life. A new method for editing genes with the ease of a computer's cut-and-paste functions may prove more momentous than the splitting of the atom and represents a major advance in the war against deadly diseases.

Breakthrough—known - CRISPR—has - Optimism - Apprehension

The breakthrough—known as CRISPR—has been greeted with ecstatic optimism and grave apprehension.

In research appearing in the advanced online edition of the journal Nature Communications, Karen Andersen, Samira Kiani and their colleagues at Arizona State University describe a method of rendering the gene editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 "immunosilent," potentially allowing the editing and repair of genes to be accomplished reliably and stealthily.

Study - Binding - Sites - Epitopes - Recognition

The study is the first to accurately predict the dominant binding sites or epitopes responsible for immune recognition of the Cas9 protein and experimentally target them for modification. The findings bring CRISPR a step closer to safe, clinical application.

Anderson is a professor in the Biodesign Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics and ASU's School of Life Sciences. She is also associate professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic Arizona. Kiani recently joined the Biodesign Institute in addition to her appointments at ASU's School of Life Sciences and the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering. Her research interests include the use of synthetic biology methods to improve CRISPR safety.

Team - Researchers - Osaka - Japan - Something

Back in 1987, a team of researchers in Osaka, Japan found something peculiar. Identical genetic sequences appeared to be cropping up repeatedly in the bacterial genome of E. coli. These palindromic sequences were separated by abbreviated snippets...
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