Off-switch for CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system discovered

post by morganism · 2016-12-29T22:08:37.871Z · LW · GW · Legacy · 4 comments

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comment by hg00 · 2016-12-31T08:15:41.422Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

"These inhibitors provide a mechanism to block nefarious or out-of-control CRISPR applications, making it safer to explore all the ways this technology can be used to help people."

I'm Dr Nefarious and I'm using CRISPR for nefarious applications. How, concretely, will I be blocked?

comment by morganism · 2017-01-14T00:49:31.259Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

some DNA and RNA methylation articles out, will just park em here

'Mysterious' non-protein-coding RNAs play important roles in gene expression

"The cells in our bodies share the same genes and DNA sequences, and differ only in how these genes are expressed," Bose said. "Enhancers and eRNAs are critical for this process. Our work shows an exciting new way that eRNAs produce these different patterns of gene expression. We asked if eRNAs work directly with CBP, and found that they do."

DNA Methylation in the Placenta: accelerated aging in pregnancy complications

DNA methylation age and the epigenetic clock

comment by morganism · 2017-01-13T20:11:11.335Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

"Whatever other functions CRISPR–Cas has, it is clear that some microbes use it more than others. More than 90% of archaea have CRISPR-based immunity, whereas only about one-third of sequenced bacteria bother with it, says Koonin. And no non-prokaryotic organisms, even single-celled ones, have been caught troubling with CRISPR–Cas at all.

"In some bacteria, CRISPR–Cas components control DNA repair, gene expression and the formation of biofilms. They can also determine a bacterium's ability to infect others: Legionella pneumophila, which causes Legionnaires' disease, must have the Cas protein Cas2 in order to infect the amoeba that is its natural host. “A major question is how much biology is there that goes beyond defence,”

"Researchers have officially recognized 6 different types of CRISPR system, with 19 subtypes. “And we really only know how a fraction of them actually work,” says Marraffini.

Unravelling those mechanisms could hold the key to finding new biotechnological applications for CRISPR–Cas systems. The beloved CRISPR–Cas9, for example, is a type II system, which uses RNA molecules transcribed from spacer sequences to direct an enzyme to cut invading viral or plasmid DNA. But enzymes in type VI systems — discovered last year6 — cut up RNA rather than DNA. And type IV systems contain some genes associated with CRISPR–Cas, but lack the repeats and the machinery to insert spacers."

comment by morganism · 2016-12-29T22:10:52.852Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

"The newly discovered anti-CRISPR proteins—which are the first to work against the type of CRISPR-Cas9 system most commonly used by laboratories and the burgeoning gene editing industry—could help resolve both problems, Bondy-Denomy says, enabling more precise control in CRISPR applications but also providing a fail-safe to quickly block any potentially harmful uses of the technology."

link to Cell paper

Inhibition of CRISPR-Cas9 with Bacteriophage Proteins