Genetic Engineering in the Press by GEG
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Small molecules set up security system to defend the genome: Thousands of RNA molecules use a search algorithm to identify and silence foreign genetic sequences in cells

Small molecules set up security system to defend the genome: Thousands of RNA molecules use a search algorithm to identify and silence foreign genetic sequences in cells | Genetic Engineering in the Press by GEG | Scoop.it
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Thousands of short RNA molecules with diverse genetic sequences serve as security guards to identify and silence attempts to invade the genome, such as DNA inserted by viruses or parasitic elements known as transposons.
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FDA lifts clinical hold of Vertex/CRISPR Therapeutics’ sickle cell drug | FierceBiotech

FDA lifts clinical hold of Vertex/CRISPR Therapeutics’ sickle cell drug | FierceBiotech | Genetic Engineering in the Press by GEG | Scoop.it
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The FDA lifted a clinical hold it placed on Vertex and CRISPR Therapeutics’ gene-edited stem cell therapy for sickle cell disease. The companies are on track to start a human study in sickle cell by the end of the year.
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Japan Set to Allow Gene Editing in Human Embryos

Japan Set to Allow Gene Editing in Human Embryos | Genetic Engineering in the Press by GEG | Scoop.it
Scientific American is the essential guide to the most awe-inspiring advances in science and technology, explaining how they change our understanding of the world and shape our lives.
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Japan has issued draft guidelines that allow the use of gene-editing tools in human embryos. The proposal was released by an expert panel representing the country’s health and science ministries on 28 September.

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Nobel Prize in medicine goes to cancer immunotherapy researchers - 

Nobel Prize in medicine goes to cancer immunotherapy researchers -  | Genetic Engineering in the Press by GEG | Scoop.it
James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo, from the United States and Japan, win prestigious award
BigField GEG Tech's insight:

The Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine was awarded Monday to cancer researchers James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo whose studies led to the development of drugs that unleash the human immune system against the deadly disease.

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Decoding the structure of an RNA-based CRISPR system

LA JOLLA—Over the past several years, CRISPR-Cas9 has moved beyond the lab bench and into the public zeitgeist. This gene-editing tool holds promise for correcting defects inside individual cells and potentially healing or preventing many human ailments. But the Cas9 system alters DNA, not RNA, and some experts believe that being able to modify RNA ultimately may prove just as useful.
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Now scientists from the Salk Institute are reporting for the first time the detailed molecular structure of CRISPR-Cas13d, a promising enzyme for emerging RNA-editing technology. They were able to visualize the enzyme thanks to cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), a cutting-edge technology that enables researchers to capture the structure of complex molecules in unprecedented detail. The findings were reported September 20, 2018, in the journal Cell.

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Broad Institute gets to keep its Crispr patent, says US appeals court —

Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Broad Institute gets to keep its Crispr patent, says US appeals court — | Genetic Engineering in the Press by GEG | Scoop.it
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A federal appears court voted to uphold patents filed by scientists at MIT and Harvard, saying that they were non-obvious compared to those filed earlier by another team.

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CNW | Novartis receives Health Canada approval of its CAR-T cell therapy, Kymriah™ 

CNW | Novartis receives Health Canada approval of its CAR-T cell therapy, Kymriah™  | Genetic Engineering in the Press by GEG | Scoop.it
DORVAL, QC, Sept. 6, 2018- Novartis receives Health Canada approval of its CAR-T cell therapy, Kymriah™ (tisagenlecleucel)i.
BigField GEG Tech's insight:

Health Canada has approved Kymriah for use in pediatric and young adult patients 3 to 25 years of age with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who are refractory, have relapsed after allogenic stem cell transplant (SCT) or are otherwise ineligible for SCT, or have experienced second or later relapse; and for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory (r/r) large B-cell lymphoma after two or more lines of systemic therapy including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) not otherwise specified, high grade B-cell lymphoma and DLBCL arising from follicular lymphomai.

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Alnylam Receives Approval of ONPATTRO™ (patisiran) in Europe 

Alnylam Receives Approval of ONPATTRO™ (patisiran) in Europe  | Genetic Engineering in the Press by GEG | Scoop.it
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Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc.(Nasdaq: ALNY), the leading RNAi therapeutics company, announced today that the European Commission (EC) has granted marketing authorization for ONPATTRO™(patisiran) for the treatment of hereditary transthyretin-mediated (hATTR) amyloidosis in adults with stage 1 or stage 2 polyneuropathy. ONPATTRO is based on Nobel Prize-winning science and is the first-ever RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutic to be approved in the European Union.

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CRISPR creates new species with single giant chromosome

CRISPR creates new species with single giant chromosome | Genetic Engineering in the Press by GEG | Scoop.it
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For at least the last 10 million years every yeast cell of the sort used to make beer or bread has had 16 chromosomes.

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Keep calm and edit on - Nature Biotech

Keep calm and edit on - Nature Biotech | Genetic Engineering in the Press by GEG | Scoop.it
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Despite spooking investors, new insights into DNA repair and the CRISPR gene-editing system are part and parcel of its progress from research tool to human therapy.

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How to Make the Gene-Editing Tool CRISPR Work Even Better

How to Make the Gene-Editing Tool CRISPR Work Even Better | Genetic Engineering in the Press by GEG | Scoop.it
Scientists have identified a protein for use in CRISPR gene editing that is more effective and accurate than the protein most commonly in use. 
BigField GEG Tech's insight:

Among the most significant scientific advances in recent years are the discovery and development of new ways to genetically modify living things using a fast and affordable technology called CRISPR. Now scientists at The University of Texas at Austin say they’ve identified an easy upgrade for the technology that would lead to more accurate gene editing with increased safety that could open the door for gene editing safe enough for use in humans.

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Celyad’s CAR-T Therapy Gets Closer to the Clinic

Celyad’s CAR-T Therapy Gets Closer to the Clinic | Genetic Engineering in the Press by GEG | Scoop.it
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Celyad has received FDA approval to start clinical trials for its CAR-T cell therapy, which is engineered to avoid side effects associated with using donor cells for this kind of treatment.

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Sangamo Therapeutics to Acquire TxCell

Sangamo Therapeutics to Acquire TxCell | Genetic Engineering in the Press by GEG | Scoop.it

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The Proposed Acquisition Would Combine Sangamo's Ex Vivo Gene Editing Capabilities and TxCell's Treg Expertise and Would Position Sangamo as a Leader in CAR-Treg Development

Initiation of First CAR-Treg Clinical Trial Expected in 2019

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Biochemists discover cause of genome editing failures with hyped CRISPR system | EurekAlert! Science News

Biochemists discover cause of genome editing failures with hyped CRISPR system | EurekAlert! Science News | Genetic Engineering in the Press by GEG | Scoop.it
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago are the first to describe why CRISPR gene editing sometimes fails to work, and how the process can be made to be much more efficient.
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Agricultural research, or a new bioweapon system? - Science

Agricultural research, or a new bioweapon system? - Science | Genetic Engineering in the Press by GEG | Scoop.it

https://www.darpa.mil/program/insect-allies

BigField GEG Tech's insight:

The Pentagon is studying whether insects can be enlisted to combat crop loss during agricultural emergencies. The bugs would carry genetically engineered viruses that could be deployed rapidly if critical crops such as corn or wheat became vulnerable to a drought, a natural blight or a sudden attack by a biological weapon. The concept envisions the viruses making genetic modifications that protect the plants immediately, during a single growing season.

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Penn Discovers New, Rare Mechanism for ALL to Relapse after CAR T Cell Therapy – PR News

Induction of resistance to chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy by transduction of a single leukemic B cell
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A single leukemia cell, unknowingly engineered with the leukemia-targeting chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) lentivirus and infused back into a patient, was able to reproduce and cause a deadly recurrence of pediatric B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Nature Medicine published the findings.

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Gene editing could eliminate mosquitoes, but is it a good idea?

Gene editing could eliminate mosquitoes, but is it a good idea? | Genetic Engineering in the Press by GEG | Scoop.it

In the study, scientists at Imperial College London used the technology to wipe out a population of caged mosquitoes that are able to transmit malaria, targeting a genetic sequence that leads to male and female traits. After a number of generations, they found that 100% of these mosquitoes were affected.

 

https://www.nature.com/articles/nbt.4245

 

BigField GEG Tech's insight:

Researchers have rendered a population of mosquitoes in a lab sterile using the gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 by homing in on a specific target in insect DNA -- the doublesex gene -- raising the possibility of eradicating disease-carrying species of the insect entirely, according to a new study published Monday in Nature Biotechnology.

But even when it comes to suppressing or extinguishing a species of mosquito, are we opening Pandora's Box and releasing something into the world we don't fully understand? Or will the only major impact be a positive one for humans while other organisms -- less harmful ones, ideally -- take these bugs' place in the ecosystem?

 

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'Switchable' CAR T-cell Therapy Kills Advanced Pancreatic Cancer Cells in Mice, Study Reports

'Switchable' CAR T-cell Therapy Kills Advanced Pancreatic Cancer Cells in Mice, Study Reports | Genetic Engineering in the Press by GEG | Scoop.it
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A “switchable” CAR T-cell immunotherapy was able to completely eliminate cancer in mice whose tumors came from cells of people with advanced pancreatic cancer, including cancer cells that had moved to distant organs, a new study reports.

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CRISPR Pioneer Jennifer Doudna Opens Lab at Bay Area’s Gladstone Institutes

CRISPR Pioneer Jennifer Doudna Opens Lab at Bay Area’s Gladstone Institutes | Genetic Engineering in the Press by GEG | Scoop.it
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CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna has set up shop in San Francisco’s Gladstone Institutes. Doudna, a UC Berkley professor credited with the co-discovery of CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technique, will focus on the development of new ways to implement the gene-editing technique for disease treatment.

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Novartis, Gilead CAR-T therapies approved in Europe, putting spotlight on global manufacturing

Novartis, Gilead CAR-T therapies approved in Europe, putting spotlight on global manufacturing | Genetic Engineering in the Press by GEG | Scoop.it
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Kymriah and Yescarta are churned out in a matter of weeks — a production task that gets more difficult as approvals expand their geographic reach.

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First CRISPR clinical trial backed by U.S. companies launches

First CRISPR clinical trial backed by U.S. companies launches | Genetic Engineering in the Press by GEG | Scoop.it
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The trial, co-sponsored by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, will test the genome-editing technique in patients with the blood disorder beta thalassemia.
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Artios Pharma raise €85m in Series B round - European Biotechnology

Artios Pharma raise €85m in Series B round - European Biotechnology | Genetic Engineering in the Press by GEG | Scoop.it



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Life Sciences Partners and Andera Partners together with Pfizer Ventures and Novartis Venture Fund have put €85m into the cancer drug development company Artios Pharma Ltd.

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US scientist who edited human embryos with CRISPR responds to critics

US scientist who edited human embryos with CRISPR responds to critics | Genetic Engineering in the Press by GEG | Scoop.it
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Can we safely fix the DNA of human embryos in a lab dish?

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CRISPR & Co are GMOs, says EU court - European Biotechnology

CRISPR & Co are GMOs, says EU court - European Biotechnology | Genetic Engineering in the Press by GEG | Scoop.it
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The EU Court of Justice has ruled that plants created using novel genome editing methods will be classed as genetically modified organisms and therefore have to follow the strict EU guidelines for GMOs.
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Ahead of EU decision on new breeding techniques, Belgium acknowledges field trials of CRISPR-edited corn

Ahead of EU decision on new breeding techniques, Belgium acknowledges field trials of CRISPR-edited corn | Genetic Engineering in the Press by GEG | Scoop.it
BigField GEG Tech's insight:

Silently, the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) has been conducting a field trial with [CRISPR-edited] maize for a year and a half. The…new sensational technique…is not clearly regulated in Europe. Nevertheless, the [Belgian] government [approved the trial].

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Genetically modified babies given go ahead by UK ethics body 

Genetically modified babies given go ahead by UK ethics body  | Genetic Engineering in the Press by GEG | Scoop.it
The Nuffield Council on Bioethics says changing the DNA of a human embryo could be ‘morally permissable’ if it is in the child’s best interests
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The creation of babies whose DNA has been altered to give them what parents perceive to be the best chances in life has received a cautious green light in a landmark report from a leading UK ethics body.

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