George Church of Harvard’s Stem Cell Institute led the conference off with a summary of progress in CRISPR technology.
A questioner asked George about interaction with “chromatin state”. In any given cell, at any given time, some of the DNA is unwrapped and available for expression, called euchromatin, while the rest, called heterochromatin, is spooled around protein spindles (histones). George indicated that the CRISPR technique works a lot better on euchromatin than on heterochromatin, as we would expect, but that it works some even on heterochromatin, and we’re learning rapidly.
CRISPR can now be married to a gene promoter or repressor, so that particular genes can be turned on and off using CRISPR. This is possible not just in cells but in living organisms, potentially in you and me.
CRISPR is a very new technology, still in the explosive stage of development.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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