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CRISPR News - "The On Switch"

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So I don't know enough about the HSV family, but to my knowledge they do have "proteases", which is one thing that seems to be essential in the targeting process based on the article.  I know this article is not about a new vaccine, but it is related to advancing other research that could possibly help find a cure for the nasty herpes viruses.   Below are some highlighted points from the article, could someone with more knowledge of the viruses and medical side of things elaborate if this does indeed show additional promise?  I think it does, but what do I know.... 

1. "As a proof-of-concept, the team introduced Zika-infected cells to their newly engineered ProCas9s, equipped with guide RNAs trained to seek out life-supporting genes.  Within a week, the new CRISPR system destroyed the infected cell in a sort of “altruistic defense.” Non-infected, healthy cells were left alive and intact."

2. "It’s like giving Cas9 a new superpower, one that allows us to track where the protein is within the cell or body, or one that gives CRISPR the ability to change how certain genes are expressed—rather than directly messing with our genetic material."

3. "The Berkeley team already envisioned several uses for the upgrade. ProCas9 could be useful for molecular screening or drug discovery. Or it can limit CRISPR’s DNA-chopping to specific cells “after general delivery of an editing complex to a target tissue or organ,” which would greatly increase the tool’s safety profile especially as the tool heads to the clinic, the team said."

4."But perhaps the most exciting take away is this: the study, a work of protein wizardry, is another example that we’re not stuck with the CRISPR machinery nature gave us. Rather, “these proteins can be elaborately optimized and turned into scaffolds not found in nature but possessing the right properties for use in human cells”for study or treatment, said Savage.


Edited by f*ckedOver

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dont quit!17

Nice informative article. Safety is definitely the concern with CRISPR, so this is certainly a plus!! 

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From Bryan Cullen's website :


"..We also have recently made an important breakthrough in  improving design and efficacy of AAV-based CRISPR/Cas delivery vectors that could have important implication for the use of CRISPR/Cas as an approach to the treatment of not only HIV-1 and HPV16 but also Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). Assuming this works as we expect, we then hope to reinvigorate our work on using CRISPR/Cas as a potential cure initially in animal models of HBV and HSV..."

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