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Bigger, Faster and Crispr


December 12, 2013 | Following the discovery of the precision gene-editing DNA sequences known as Crispr (see: Crispr Cuts and Stitches), researchers have been eagerly pursuing new applications for the Crispr system of protein and RNA guides that removes targeted stretches of DNA from the genome. Now, a team of scientists from MIT, the Broad Institute and the Whitehead Institute has adopted the technique as a way to empirically test gene functionality on a massive scale. RNA guides can be produced quickly and cheaply enough to support a bank of Crispr complexes for every known gene, allowing the team to grow thousands of human cells each missing a single gene. A first round of experiments is identifying which genes are essential for cell survival, and which contribute to cancer growth or drug resistance. MIT News
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