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Scientists use CRISPR to knock down gene messages early in development


The development of mRNA knock-down technologies for use in vertebrate organisms such as zebrafish has been limited. CRISPR-RfxCas13d has been identified as an effective method for the systematic study of gene function in vivo during embryogenesis across a range of animal species. Credit: Bazzini Lab, Stowers Institute Since its discovery, scientists have been using the much-lauded gene editing tool CRISPR to alter the DNA of model organisms and uncover the functions of thousands of genes. Now, researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, Missouri, and the Andalusian Center of Developmental Biology at Pablo de Olavide University in Seville, Spain, have harnessed the technology to target gene messages (messenger RNA) involved in early vertebrate development.

By disrupting gene messages (RNA) instead of the underlying genes (DNA), researchers can study genes that might previously have been difficult or impossible to manipulate because they were essential to life or involved in a critical stage of biological development. This approach also allows targeting of maternally-contributed gene RNAs, which are deposited in the egg to kick off the earliest genetic programs.

The study, which appears online August 7, 2020, in the journal Developmental Cell , establishes the use of CRISPR-Cas technology to […]

read more here —> phys.org

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