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Crop Biotech Update

Experts Modify RNA Guides for CRISPR Tools and Therapies

August 4, 2021

Experts at the New York Genome Center (NYGC) and New York University (NYU) have developed chemically modified guide RNAs for the CRISPR system that targets the RNA and not the DNA. This modification in the guide RNA has improved its ability to target RNA in human cells. The results are published in Cell Chemical Biology.

The researchers explored a range of RNA modifications and found improved CRISPR efficiencies from 2- to 5-fold compared to the unmodified guides. Results also showed that the optimized chemical changes extended CRISPR's targeting activity from 48 hours to four days. This was tested on targeted cell surface receptors in human immune cells from healthy donors and a "universal" segment of the genetic sequence shared by all known variants of the RNA virus SARS-COV-2, the virus causing COVID-19. The extended efficiencies and targeting activity give researchers more time to investigate how the gene influences other genes in related pathways.

Read the original article and the research article for more details.

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