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Clustered, regularly

interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) RNA editing system to modify mammalian DNA

A CRISPR-derived genome editing system could be used to modify mammalian DNA. CRISPR is a bacterial immune response system that uses host-expressed nucleases and RNA repeats to cleave foreign DNA. To adapt this system to cleave and edit mammalian genomes, two separate teams designed a DNA vector that expressed a bacteria-derived CRISPR-associated nuclease together with guide RNAs that contained CRISPR features and homology similar to mammalian genes. The system was used to induce site-specific insertions and deletions in multiple genomic loci in cultured mouse and human cells. Next steps include characterizing and optimizing the specificity of the approach (see CRISPR genome editing, page 1).

SciBX 6(4); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.101
Published online Jan. 31, 2013

Patent applications filed for findings in both papers; licensing status undisclosed

Cong, L. et al. Science; published online Jan. 3, 2013;
Contact: Feng Zhang, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, Mass.

Mali, P. et al. Science; published online Jan. 3, 2013;
Contact: George M. Church, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.