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New CRISPR base-editing technology slows ALS progression in mice

February 24, 2020

With a new CRISPR gene-editing methodology, scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign inactivated one of the genes responsible for an inherited form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – a debilitating and fatal neurological disease for which there is no cure. The novel treatment slowed disease progression, improved muscle function and extended lifespan in mice with an aggressive form of ALS.


February 24, 2020


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For CRISPR, tweaking DNA fragments yields highest efficiency rates yet

January 2, 2020

University of Illinois researchers achieved the highest reported rates of inserting genes into human cells with the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing system, a necessary step for harnessing CRISPR for clinical gene-therapy applications.

By chemically tweaking the ends of the DNA to be inserted, the new technique is up to five times more efficient than current approaches. The researchers saw improvements at various genetic locations tested in a human kidney cell line, even seeing 65% insertion at one site where the previous high had been 15%.


January 2, 2020


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MAGIC system allows researchers to modulate activity of genes acting in concert

December 16, 2019

Genomic research has unlocked the capability to edit the genomes of living cells; yet so far, the effects of such changes must be examined in isolation. In contrast, the complex traits that are of interest in both fundamental and applied research, such as those related to microbial biofuel production, involve many genes acting in concert. A newly developed system will now allow researchers to fine-tune the activity of multiple genes simultaneously.


December 16, 2019


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NYT Columnist and Author Carl Zimmer to Speak on New Book

February 15, 2019

New York Times columnist and renowned author Carl Zimmer will be giving a lecture on his newest book, titled She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity, on March 7th at 5:30pm at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center. Free and open to all, a reception and book signing will follow the event.


February 15, 2019


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New CRISPR technique skips over portions of genes that can cause disease

August 16, 2018

In a new study in cells, University of Illinois researchers have adapted CRISPR gene-editing technology to cause the cell’s internal machinery to skip over a small portion of a gene when transcribing it into a template for protein building. This gives researchers a way not only to eliminate a mutated gene sequence, but to influence how the gene is expressed and regulated.


August 16, 2018


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A New Tool for Genetically Engineering the Oldest Branch of Life

March 7, 2017

A new study by G. William Arends Professor of Microbiology Bill Metcalf and IGB Fellow Dipti Nayak has documented the use of CRISPR-Cas9 mediated genome editing in the third domain of life, Archaea, for the first time. Their groundbreaking work, reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [DOI:10.1073/pnas.1618596114], has the potential to vastly accelerate future studies of these organisms, with implications for research including global climate change.


March 7, 2017


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