Sauer N.J. et al Plant Physiology (2016) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26864017
While gene editing has found extensive use in fish, mammals, and flies, the use of gene editing techniques in plants without the use of selectable markers has proven more challenging. Sauer et al overcame this barrier by using a single stranded donor oligonucleotide to increase resistance to glyphosate in flax. Use of gene editing in economically important crops without the use of selectable markers could allow for fewer regulations than traditional genetically modified crops due to the lack of foreign DNA.
Robert Sanders, Berkeley News 23 March 2016. http://news.berkeley.edu/2016/03/23/doudna-receives-canadas-gairdner-award-as-crispr-sweeps-field/
Jennifer Doudna, Emmanuelle Charpentier, Feng Zhang, Rodolphe Barrangou, and Philippe Horvath have won Canada’s Gairdner Award for their work with developingCRISPR/Cas9. This award is one of prestigious awards for medical research with each recipient receiving $100,000 Canadian.
Press Release, Goethe University, Frankfurt. 14 March 2016 http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-03/guf-pea031416.php
Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna have been awarded the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize for their work with the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology. This award is given in honor of Paul Ehrlich to individuals who have made significant contributions in the areas of immunology, cancer research, microbiology, and chemotherapy.
Monique Brouillette, Scientific American, 1 March 2016 http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/scientists-breed-pigs-resistant-to-a-devastating-infection-using-crispr/
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV)is a detrimental infection that affects pigs across the United States, estimated to cost swine producers $600 million annually. Researchers at the University of Missouri developing pigs resistant to PRRSV via the use of CRISPR/Cas9 technology . Upon exposure to PRRSV, normal pigs develop symptoms in 5 days. However, pigs engineered for resistance to the virus did not develop symptoms, and most importantly they did not produce PRRSV antibodies, indicating that the virus was unable to infect the modified pigs.
GenomeWeb 23 February 2016 https://www.genomeweb.com/gene-silencinggene-editing/caribou-bio-grants-idt-non-exclusive-rights-commercialize-ruo-crisprcas9
Caribou Biosciences, co-founded by Jennifer Doudna of the University of California-Berkley, has granted a non-exclusive license to Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) to develop and sell CRISPR/Cas9 products for research use only. Caribou has also licensed the technology to DuPont Pioneer, Sage Labs, and Novartis, however IDT is the first genomics company to obtain a license.
Ericka Shin. The Daily Californian, 18 February 2016. http://www.dailycal.org/2016/02/18/caribou-biosciences-co-founded-campus-researcher-jennifer-doudna-receives-intellectual-property-rights-crispr-technology/
Caribou Biosciences, founded by UC Berkley professor Jennifer Doudna, was awarded a patent for the use of CRISPR/Cas9 technology in diagnostic applications. This technique can be used to detect genomic rearrangements and is much narrower in scope than the CRISPR patents currently under dispute between UC Berkley and the Broad Institute.
Luke Alphey, Nature Biotechnology (2016) 34:149-150 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26849518
Gene drives use selfish genes that spread through a population regardless of its ability to confer individual fitness. Multiple researchers have proposed using gene drives to control the spread of vector-borne diseases, such as malaria. Carried by certain species of mosquitos, malaria is one of the most dangerous human pathogens, gene drives could control or eliminate malaria by modifying mosquitoes to be resistant to malaria or by elimination of mosquito fertility. This opinion article highlights how CRISPR/Cas9 gene drives would work in theory as well as a discussion on the technological and ethical problems facing gene drives.
Price, A.A et al. Trends in Microbiology (2016) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26852268
Viral diseases result in acute and chronic illnesses, often with limited treatment options. CRISPR/Cas9 technology could be used as to treat chronic viral diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, and HPV. However, the research into these applications is still in its infancy. This review highlights the potential for CRISPR/Cas9 technology to be adapted for use as a eukaryotic antiviral therapy as well as the areas where more research is needed.
Jennifer Doudna, AAAS 2016 Annual Meeting Plenary Session. 13 February 2016. http://livestream.com/AAASmtg/events/4772683/videos/112285338
Jennifer Doudna delivered one of the plenary sessions at the 2016 AAAS Annual Meeting on the science, medical applications, and ethical implications of CRISPR/Cas9 technology. During her talk she discussed how CRISPR/Cas9 was discovered while explaining the mechanism behind Cas9 binding and DNA cleavage.
Science Friday, Public Radio International 12 February 2016 http://www.sciencefriday.com/segments/could-genetically-engineered-insects-squash-mosquito-borne-disease/
Science Friday host Ira Flatow discusses CRISPR/Cas9 and gene drives and the ethical considerations for their use. Kevin Esvelt, an evolutionary engineer at MIT, and Anthony James, a researcher at the University of California contributed to the discussion.