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Crop Biotech Update

First GM Marsupials Developed with CRISPR

July 28, 2021

Researchers at Riken Institute in Japan have used CRISPR in marsupials for the first time, which is one of the hardest organisms to modify genetically.

For the past 25 years, scientists have faced the challenge of applying genetic modifications to marsupials because they are born prematurely, continue their development inside their mother's pouches, have thick shells around their eggs, and lack a functional placenta. Riken researchers reported that they have successfully cracked the code and edited the genes for pigment production in gray short-tailed opossums. This led to a litter of albino opossums as reported in the journal Current Biology. The results of this study can help scientists explore more about the immune responses, reproductive and developmental traits, and common diseases such as melanoma.

Read the original article in Science.

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