On the hunt for gene editing's collateral damage

Labs the world over are jumping on the gene editing bandwagon. But one question keeps coming up: How precise are these systems? After all, a method that selectively mutates, deletes or swaps specific gene sequences is only as good as its accuracy.

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Shedding light on AID off-targeting and lymphoma

Researchers in the laboratory of Frederick Alt have identified a relationship between sites of convergent gene transcription, the presence of intragenic super-enhancers, and the mis-targeting of the mutagenic activity of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID).

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A promising strategy against HIV


Harvard researchers genetically ‘edit’ human blood stem cells

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Removing roadblocks to therapeutic cloning to produce stem cells

To help find barriers associated with a cloning technique called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), Drs. Yi Zhang and Shogo Matoba generated mouse embryos through either SCNT or IVF and compared their gene expression profiles at the very early stages of development.

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1 in 20,000: Identifying hematopoietic stem cells in bone marrow

Roi Gazit, Pankaj Mandal and Derrick Rossi have engineered a hematopoietic stem cell specific reporter mouse that permits facile detection of rare blood forming stem cells based on single color fluorescence.

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DNA damage repair is attenuated in quiescent hematopoietic stem cells, contributing to age-dependent DNA damage accumulation

Without active DNA repair, damage beyond strand breaks could accumulate, giving rise to mutations leading to age-related blood disorders.

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Cytotoxic Cells Kill Intracellular Bacteria through Granulysin-Mediated Delivery of Granzymes

Michael Walch, Farokh Dotiwala and Judy Lieberman unveil a new role for killer cells in bacterial defense. In a recent Cell paper they show that granulysin, an antimicrobial protein present in the cytotoxic granules of human killer lymphocytes, delivers death-inducing granzymes into bacteria, where they rapidly kill bacteria and limit the spread of infection.

Scientists turn back the clock on blood cells, reprogram them into blood stem cells

Induced hematopoietic stem cells, or iHSCs, bear characteristic features of natural HSCs, represent milestone in regenerative medicine

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Drawing a ring around antiviral immunity

Ubiquitin doesn't just tag proteins for recycling. It also may help keep our antiviral immune response in balance.

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Study identifies protein that helps developing germ cells wipe genes clean of past imprints

A protein called Tet1 is partly responsible for giving primordial germ cells a clean epigenetic slate before developing into sperm and egg cells, according to a new study by researchers at Boston Children's Hospital.

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How do you stop an aggressive breast cancer? Keep it from recycling

When the drug Velcade® came on the market in 2003, it was seen as a godsend for patients with multiple myeloma, an intractable blood cancer that until then was uniformly fatal.

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Unraveling the link between DNA sensing and lupus

A team led by Dr. Qian Yin, a senior postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Hao Wu’s lab used structural and functional approaches to elucidate how an intricate interplay between p202, a critical checkpoint protein involved in autoimmunity, and a protein that monitors the cytoplasm for abnormal dsDNA (AIM2) may be involved in lupus pathogenesis.

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Featured News Story

On the hunt for gene editing's collateral damage

On the hunt for gene editing's collateral damage

Labs the world over are jumping on the gene editing bandwagon (and into the inevitable patent arguments). And it's hard to blame them. As these technologies have evolved over the last two decades starting with the zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs), followed by transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) and CRISPR—they've become ever more powerful and easier to use.

But one question keeps coming up: How precise are these systems? After all, a method that selectively mutates, deletes or swaps specific gene sequences (and now can even turn genes on) is only as good as its accuracy.

Algorithms can predict the likely "off-target" cuts for a given combination of target and technology, based on the target's DNA sequence. But they're based on limited data, and so can't make comprehensive predictions. "The algorithms… Read More »

Announcements

Dr. Tim Springer was honored with the 2014 American Society of Hematology Henry M. Stratton Medal

Dr. Tim Springer was honored with the 2014 American…

The 2014 American Society of Hematology Henry M. Stratton Medal for Basic Research was awarded… Read More »

Dr. Wesley Wong receives Beckman Young Investigator Award

Dr. Wesley Wong receives Beckman Young Investigator…

The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation has honored Dr. Wesley Wong with a Beckman Young Investigator Award, which recognizes promising young faculty in chemistry… Read More »

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