Retron Library Recombineering
June 21, 2021 10:49 PM Subscribe
Scientists Have Created A New Gene-Editing Tool That Could Outperform CRISPR - "It is faster and simpler than CRISPR, enabling millions of genetic experiments to be performed simultaneously."
This tool, described in a recent paper in PNAS, employs retrons, which are bacterial DNA segments that undergo reverse transcription to generate single-stranded DNA fragments (ssDNA). RLR produces up to millions of mutations concurrently in bacterial cells and "barcodes" mutant cells, enabling the whole pool to be screened at once. This way large quantities of data can be quickly produced and analyzed.also btw...
But why is this important? Well, because it overcomes the major limitations of CRISPR-Cas9, a groundbreaking technology that can be used to edit genes. Overall, it is difficult for scientists to deliver CRISPR-Cas9 materials in large numbers, and it can sometimes be toxic to cells since the Cas9 enzyme, the molecular "scissors" that cut strands of DNA, often cuts unintended sites...
While CRISPR-Cas9 cuts DNA to insert the mutant sequence into its genome, retrons can insert the mutant DNA strand into a replicating cell, where it would be introduced into the DNA of the daughter cells. Moreover, since sequences of retrons can be used as "barcodes," this enables scientists to track individuals... All in all, the advancements are exciting but may be a little premature. RLR is yet to work in mammalian cells.
- Scientists Develop New Gene Editor to Correct Disease-Causing Mutations - "A team invented a CRISPR-based gene editor that precisely changes the defective C within the genome to the desired G. This C-to-G base editor (CGBE) invention opens up treatment options for approximately 40 percent of the single-base substitutions that are associated with human diseases such as the aforementioned cystic fibrosis, cardiovascular diseases, musculoskeletal diseases, and neurological disorders."
- Artificial Proteins Never Seen in the Natural World Are Becoming New COVID Vaccines and Medicines - "Researchers have begun to crack the code of protein structure, allowing them to remake, well, everything."
- First cells reprogrammed to make synthetic polymers—and virus-resistant drug manufacturers - "Scientists have developed the first cells that can construct artificial polymers from building blocks that are not found in nature, by following instructions the researchers encoded in their genes."
- Scientists Used CRISPR to Engineer a New 'Superbug' That's Invincible to All Viruses - "Can we reprogram existing life at will? ... The team used CRISPR to replace over 18,000 codons with synthetic amino acids that don't exist anywhere in the natural world. The result is a bacteria that's virtually resistant to all viral infections—because it lacks the normal protein 'door handles' that viruses need to infect the cell. But that's just the beginning of engineering life's superpowers."
- First Major Discoveries Reported From Project to Read Complete Genetic Sequences of All 70,000 Vertebrate Species - "'We will get a spectacular picture of how nature actually filled out all the ecosystems with this unbelievably diverse array of animals'... The VGP model is even inspiring other large sequencing efforts, including the Earth Biogenome Project, which aims to decode the genomes of all eukaryotic species within 10 years."
- Plankton have a genome like no other
- Study uses plankton genomes as global biosensors of ocean ecosystem stress
- Bioengineers Develop Algorithm to Compare Cells Across Species – With Striking Results - "Researchers created an algorithm to identify similar cell types from species – including fish, mice, flatworms and sponges – that have diverged for hundreds of millions of years, which could help fill in gaps in our understanding of evolution. Cells are the building blocks of life, present in every living organism. But how similar do you think your cells are to a mouse? A fish? A worm?"
- 24,000-year-old organisms found frozen in Siberia can still reproduce
- How 'Great' Was the Great Oxygenation Event? Enzyme 'Family Tree' Reveals When Organisms First Started Using Oxygen
- Biologists Construct a 'Periodic Table' for Cell Nuclei – And Discover Something Strange, Baffling and Unexpected - "A team of biologists studying the tree of life has unveiled a new classification system for cell nuclei, and discovered a method for transmuting one type of cell nucleus into another."
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