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CRIPSR and Gene Editing – Designer Genes

Targeted editing of the genome was not so long ago a feature of science fiction, but one that was surely inevitable. Now, with CRISPR/Cas9 at the forefront receiving the most attention, it is possible to perform precise edits of genomic sequences. Science fiction aside, CRISPR is a powerful RNA-guided tool that can be used to specifically target and knock out, or replace genes, making it useful for applications such as gene therapy. CRISPR has become a part of the toolset for many laboratories, more so than other gene editing techniques like TALEN. Partly because it CRISPR provides a flexible, cost-effective and easy approach to gene editing. CRISPR is also seeing application in epigenome editing (gene regulation processes after translation). While gene editing is starting to see use in gene therapy applications, human genome editing i.e. edits to the genome which will pass on effects to future generations in the germline is not yet deemed safe. A highly publicised case in the media serves to highlight this point.

sCMOS cameras play an important role in many of these studies as they can offer a large field of view for gene knockout and other screening requirements. The high sensitivity provided by Zyla and Sona models enables visualization of relatively weak reporter tags from individual gene constructs.

Further Reading

References

  • Martens, K.J.A., van Beljouw, S.P.B., van der Els, S. et al. Visualisation of dCas9 target search in vivo using an open-microscopy framework. Nat Commun 10, 3552 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41467-019-11514-0
  • Mojica, F.J.M., D ez-Villase or, C.S., Garc a-Mart nez, J.S., and Soria, E. (2005). Intervening Sequences of Regularly Spaced Prokaryotic Repeats Derive from Foreign Genetic Elements. J Mol Evol 60, 174–182.

Date: February 2020

Author: Dr Alan Mullan and Dr Claudia Florindo

Category: Application Note

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