CRISPR/Cas systems are best known as “gene scissors” for correcting genetic defects. Precise targeting of specific regions in DNA of plants, animals, and microorganisms is the reason CRISPR recently became a favorite tool of many researchers. Now, a group from the University of Freiburg identified an enzyme which assists the CRISPR/Cas system in correctly regulating translation.
COFFEE BREAK NEWS FOR LIFE SCIENTISTS
Scientists from Duke University discovered that DNA contains a “built-in timer” that clocks the frequency with which mutations occur. Their research shows that DNA bases can change shape within a thousandth of a second, allowing them to temporarily morph into alternative states.
A team of researchers decoded the entire genetic information of the salamander axolotl. It is the largest genome ever to be sequenced. The “Mexican walking fish” could provide us with the foundation for novel insights into human tissue regeneration capacities.
Scientists from Stanford published new data that could influence the clinical use of CRISPR/Cas9 in the future. Humans carry antibodies and T-cells that target the Cas9 protein and might possess an inherent immunity, indicating that one of the biggest advances in genetic engineering should be observed from an additional angle.
Scientists are unraveling evolutionary mysteries behind the world of spider vision. New findings could provide new gene therapies for people with visual defects like macular degeneration and retinal cancer.
Fractures typically mended with metal plates and screws could be replaced with 3D printed ceramic implants in the future. This means that treating severely broken bones could become less painful and more “natural”. The best feature of the new technology is that the implant gradually disappears and transforms into actual bone.
For the second year in a row, life expectancy in the United States declined due to an opioid crisis. Scientists have high hopes for a new opioid vaccine developed by the US military, that shows promising results in mice and rats.
The pace of progress in science in recent years is remarkable. Mostly, due to the fact that processes which took weeks to complete can now be done in minutes. Therefore, the past year was definitely fruitful for science. Scientists cooperated and even some global scale projects saw the light of day. Splice would like to review the important highlights that made 2017 special.
MIT engineers devised new 3D printing technique that uses ink made from genetically programmed living cells. Printed layer by layer, cells, and nutrients in hydrogel form three-dimensional, interactive structure. They light up in response to a variety of stimuli and turn into living devices.
Scientists managed to add X and Y nucleotide bases to Escherichia coli bacteria’s natural genetic alphabet and create entirely new, synthetic proteins. This is a major step toward creating artificial life but the goal of their study was actually to develop a novel protein-based drug treatments.