CRISPR Gene Editing Expanding Pre-clinical Studies Beyond Mice and Fruit Flies

CRISPR gene editing is being used to modify exotic species to expand labs beyond the use of mice, fruit flies and monkeys.

CRISPR placed genes into cuttlefish and bobtail-squid embryos for the first time. The genetically modifications make the cephalopods’ neurons to light up when they fire. This enables easy study of their brains and nervous systems.

Adding or removing genes in new animals and plants means that we will have a better understanding of the biosphere and potentially create animal models that more are more accurate than mice at predicting what will happen with humans for medical treatments.

Researchers have created a tool called CHOPCHOP, which allows them to design a CRISPR system for editing specific genes in any DNA snippet. Scientists have sent genetic sequences from more than 200 different species, including plants, fungi, viruses and farm animals.

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