The picture shows a moment in the sample-collecting effort leading to this Pnas paper about a novel heat-tolerant CRISPR enzyme called IgnaviCas9. Exploring nature’s molecular diversity in extreme environmental conditions such as Yellowstone hot springs can yield exciting discoveries and applications.
The famous Taq enzyme used in PCR amplification came from there, courtesy of an extremophilic bacterium called Thermus aquaticus, as you know.
The CRISPR enzyme isolated from an uncultured Ignavibacterium by Stanford’s Stephen Quake and colleagues is the third thermostable Cas9 enzyme to be characterized, after GeoCas9 from the Doudna Lab and ThermoCas9 from the van der Oost lab.
Being active up to 100°C, it could be used without concern about its stability in applications where reagents must be stored for long periods of time at elevated temperatures.