The mule Idaho Gem born May 4, was the first clone born in the horse family.
A game-changing genetic engineering technique Have you heard? A revolution has seized the scientific community. Within only a few years, research labs worldwide have adopted a new technology that facilitates making specific changes in the DNA of humans, other animals, and plants.
Compared to previous techniques for modifying DNA, this new approach is much faster and easier. This name refers to the unique organization of short, partially palindromic repeated DNA sequences found in the genomes of bacteria and other microorganisms.
While seemingly innocuous, CRISPR sequences are a crucial component of the immune systems  of these simple life forms.
Just like us, bacterial cells can be invaded by viruses, which are small, infectious agents. If a viral infection threatens a bacterial cell, the CRISPR immune system can thwart the attack by destroying the genome of the invading virus .
The genome of the virus includes genetic material that is necessary for the virus to continue replicating. How does it work? These regions are composed of short DNA repeats black diamonds and spacers colored boxes. When a previously unseen virus infects a bacterium, a new spacer derived from the virus is incorporated amongst existing spacers.
The molecular machinery cuts up and destroys the invading viral genome. Figure adapted from Molecular Cell 54, April 24, . These spacers are derived from DNA of viruses that have previously attacked the host bacterium .
If another infection by the same virus should occur, the CRISPR defense system will cut up any viral DNA sequence matching the spacer sequence and thus protect the bacterium from viral attack.
If a previously unseen virus attacks, a new spacer is made and added to the chain of spacers and repeats. The specificity of CRISPR-based immunity in recognizing and destroying invading viruses is not just useful for bacteria.
Creative applications of this primitive yet elegant defense system have emerged in disciplines as diverse as industry, basic research, and medicine. CRISPR-based immunity can be employed to make these cultures more resistant to viral attack, which would otherwise impede productivity.
Danisco scientists were studying a bacterium called Streptococcus thermophilus, which is used to make yogurts and cheeses. Certain viruses can infect this bacterium and damage the quality or quantity of the food. In the Lab Beyond applications encompassing bacterial immune defenses, scientists have learned how to harness CRISPR technology in the lab  to make precise changes in the genes of organisms as diverse as fruit flies, fish, mice, plants and even human cells.
A change in the sequence of even one gene can significantly affect the biology of the cell and in turn may affect the health of an organism. CRISPR techniques allow scientists to modify specific genes while sparing all others, thus clarifying the association between a given gene and its consequence to the organism.
Once localized to the DNA region of interest, the molecular machinery can silence a gene or even change the sequence of a gene Figure 2!
This type of gene editing can be likened to editing a sentence with a word processor to delete words or correct spelling mistakes. One important application of such technology is to facilitate making animal models with precise genetic changes to study the progress and treatment of human diseases.
During gene silencing, the cell attempts to repair the broken DNA, but often does so with errors that disrupt the gene—effectively silencing it. For gene editing, a repair template with a specified change in sequence is added to the cell and incorporated into the DNA during the repair process.
The targeted DNA is now altered to carry this new sequence. One application is for the treatment of genetic diseases. The first evidence that CRISPR can be used to correct a mutant gene and reverse disease symptoms in a living animal was published earlier this year .
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By replacing the mutant form of a gene with its correct sequence in adult mice, researchers demonstrated a cure for a rare liver disorder that could be achieved with a single treatment. In addition to treating heritable diseases, CRISPR can be used in the realm of infectious diseases, possibly providing a way to make more specific antibiotics that target only disease-causing bacterial strains while sparing beneficial bacteria .
It will also be important to find a way to deliver CRISPR therapies into the body before they can become widely used in medicine. In fact, there is enough excitement in the field to warrant the launch of several Biotech start-ups that hope to use CRISPR-inspired technology to treat human diseases .
Ekaterina Pak is a Ph. Prokaryotes Upgrade to Adaptive Immunity Molecular Cell 54, Animal rights is the idea in which some, or all, non-human animals are entitled to the possession of their own lives and that their most basic interests—such as the need to avoid suffering—should be afforded the same consideration as similar interests of human beings..
Its advocates oppose the assignment of moral value and fundamental protections on the basis of species membership alone. Aims to achieve understanding and acceptance of the need for humane animal research in the UK. Includes news, together with information about animal. Animal testing is a hot button issue with a multitude of opinions on each side.
It’s an industry where there are entire companies dedicated to the breeding of animals used for experimental purposes. Find out more about studying Biomedical Science BSc Hons (B) at Lancaster University. To obtain a broad overview and understanding of “the green sector” in the Netherlands and abroad, with the focus on the plant breeding industry and biotechnology, the role of fundamental research therein, and job opportunities for young MSc’s with a plant molecular biology/biotechnology background.
To obtain a broad overview and understanding of “the green sector” in the Netherlands and abroad, with the focus on the plant breeding industry and biotechnology, the role of fundamental research therein, and job opportunities for young MSc’s with a plant molecular biology/biotechnology background.