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Archive for the ‘bioengineering’ category

Dec 6, 2019

New tool for rapidly analyzing CRISPR edits reveals frequent production of unintended edits

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics

Amidst rising hopes for using CRISPR gene editing tools to repair deadly mutations linked to conditions like cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease, a study in Communications Biology describes a new innovation that could accelerate this work by rapidly revealing unintended and potentially harmful changes introduced by a gene editing process.

“We’ve developed a new process for rapidly screening all of the edits made by CRISPR, and it shows there may be many more unintended changes to DNA around the site of a CRISPR repair than previously thought,” said Eric Kmiec, Ph.D., director of ChristianaCare’s Gene Editing Institute and the principle author of the study.

The study describes a new tool developed at the Gene Editing Institute that in just 48 hours can identify “multiple outcomes of CRISPR-directed gene editing,” a process that typically required up to two months of costly and complicated DNA analysis.

Dec 6, 2019

How We Are Growing Organs In The Lab? | Dr. Jim Wells | TEDxCincinnati

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

Over 116,000 people in the US are on organ transplant waiting lists because of a shortage in healthy donated organs. Dr. Wells and his team have been harnessing the power of stem cells to grow miniature versions of human organs in the laboratory. Today, mini organs are being used to help diagnose patients and improve care and Dr. Wells and colleagues are working to generate lab grown organs for future transplantation into patients. Screen reader support enabled. FB: James Wells, LinkedIn: James Wells As a Developmental Biologist, Jim Wells has spent the past two decades trying to uncover how a single cell gives rise to tissues, organs and eventually a whole organism. With this information as a roadmap, he has pioneered approaches to generate mini organs (organoids) from stem cells in the laboratory. Dr. Wells is now part of a team that is using tissue engineering to generate bigger and more functional organs in the lab that can be used for transplantation into patients in the future. Dr. Wells is a professor of Pediatrics at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. He is in the Division of Developmental Biology and where he established the human pluripotent stem cell facility. He is also the Director for Basic Research in the Division of Endocrinology and was appointed Chief Scientific Officer of the Center for Stem Cell and Organoid Medicine. As a Developmental Biologist, Jim Wells has spent the past two decades trying to uncover how a single cell gives rise to tissues, organs and eventually a whole organism. With this information as a roadmap, he has pioneered approaches to generate mini organs (organoids) from stem cells in the laboratory. Dr. Wells is now part of a team that is using tissue engineering to generate bigger and more functional organs in the lab that can be used for transplantation into patients in the future. Dr. Wells is a professor of Pediatrics at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. He is in the Division of Developmental Biology and where he established the human pluripotent stem cell facility. He is also the Director for Basic Research in the Division of Endocrinology and was appointed Chief Scientific Officer of the Center for Stem Cell and Organoid Medicine. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

Dec 6, 2019

World must prepare for biological weapons that target ethnic groups based on genetics, says Cambridge University

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, existential risks, genetics, government, robotics/AI

Biological weapons could be built which target individuals in a specific ethnic group based on their DNA, a report by the University of Cambridge has warned.

Researchers from Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) said the government was failing to prepare for ‘human-driven catastrophic risks’ that could lead to mass harm and societal collapse.

In recent years advances in science such as genetic engineering, and artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous vehicles have opened the door to a host of new threats.

Dec 3, 2019

Ms. Nina Khera — 13 Year Old Longevity Biotech Researcher and Entrepreneur — Founder and CEO of Biotein — ideaXme — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: aging, bioengineering, biotech/medical, business, DNA, genetics, life extension, robotics/AI, science, transhumanism

Dec 3, 2019

Cyrus Biotechnology and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard Launch Multi-Target Collaboration to Develop Optimized CRISPR Gene Editing Technology

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

Cyrus Biotechnology in Seattle and Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard launch collaboration to develop optimized CRISPR gene technology.

Cyrus Biotechnology, Inc. Lucas Nivon, 206−258−6561 lucas@cyrusbio.com

Dec 2, 2019

Harnessing the power of CRISPR in space and time

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

Researchers in Vienna from Ulrich Elling’s laboratory at IMBA—Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences—in collaboration with the Vienna BioCenter Core Facilities have developed a revolutionary CRISPR technology called “CRISPR-Switch,” which enables unprecedented control of the CRISPR technique in both space and time.

CRISPR/Cas9 technology is based on a modified version of a bacterial defense system against bacteriophages. One of the landmark discoveries for this technique in fact was laid in Vienna and published in 2012 in a study co-authored by Emmanuelle Charpentier and VBC Ph.D. student, Krzysztof Chylinski. Due to its power to also edit mammalian genomes, CRISPR/Cas9 has rapidly established itself as the most employed gene editing method in laboratories across the world with huge potential to find its way to the clinics to cure rare disease. Just a week ago, the first success in the treatment of sickle cell anemia was announced.

To control the power of genome editing, several groups have worked on systems to control editing activity. Scientists from the lab of Ulrich Elling at IMBA were now able to gain unprecedented control over sgRNA activity, in a system termed “CRISPR-Switch.” The results are published in the renowned journal Nature Communications.

Nov 30, 2019

Scientists Get the Green Light to Create Human-Animal Hybrids in Japan

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, ethics, government, life extension

Human-animal hybrids are set to be developed at the University of Tokyo after the Japanese government recently lifted a ban on the controversial stem-cell research.

Hiromitsu Nakauchi—director for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Tokyo and team leader at Stanford’s Nakauchi Lab—is the first to receive approval for the questionable experiments which will attempt to grow human cells in rat and mouse embryos before being brought to term in a surrogate animal.

Despite many feeling that such studies are the equivalent of playing God, scientists say that the objective is far from sinister. It’s theorized that developing animals with organs constructed from human cells will create organs that can then be used for transplants in humans, cutting the long organ donation waitlists.

Nov 30, 2019

CRISPR-Switch regulates sgRNA activity

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

CRISPR-Cas9 is an efficient and versatile tool for genome engineering in many species. However, inducible CRISPR-Cas9 editing systems that regulate Cas9 activity or sgRNA expression often suffer from significant limitations, including reduced editing capacity, off-target effects, or leaky expression. Here, we develop a precisely controlled sgRNA expression cassette that can be combined with widely-used Cre systems, termed CRISPR-Switch (SgRNA With Induction/Termination by Cre Homologous recombination). Switch-ON facilitates controlled, rapid induction of sgRNA activity. In turn, Switch-OFF-mediated termination of editing improves generation of heterozygous genotypes and can limit off-target effects. Furthermore, we design sequential CRISPR-Switch-based editing of two loci in a strictly programmable manner and determined the order of mutagenic events that leads to development of glioblastoma in mice. Thus, CRISPR-Switch substantially increases the versatility of gene editing through precise and rapid switching ON or OFF sgRNA activity, as well as switching OVER to secondary sgRNAs.

Nov 29, 2019

Beating cancer: How viruses are being used to infect and kill tumours

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical

We’ve long known that viruses can target cancers in our bodies. Now, thanks to gene editing, we’re using them as tumour search and destroy agents – and getting our immune systems to join the fight too.

Nov 27, 2019

This microbe no longer needs to eat food to grow, thanks to a bit of genetic engineering

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, food, genetics

Biochemical makeover allows Escherichia coli to use carbon dioxide as a building block for its cells.

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