Harvard breaks the record for multiple editing

dna colorato“Wow! Badass. 13,200 crispr base edits in a single cell! On the way to ‘recoded’ human cells,” tweeted Antonio Regalado before covering the news in MIT Technology Review. To be honest, the radical redesign of species is still sci-fi dystopia, but the paper preprinted by Cory J. Smith et al. in bioRxiv is impressive anyway. Continue reading

CRISPR too serious not to laugh at

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Dark matter is actually made of CRISPR. CRISPR can divide by zero. Jennifer Doudna didn’t discover CRISPR, CRISPR discovered Jennifer Doudna. Just take a look at this gallery and, if you like it, manage to get the paper on CRISPR digital ethnography published by Leah Lowthorp in the Journal of American Folklore. It all started with an overhyped Wired coverstory and a tweet by Daniel MacArthur (Harvard-MIT). A twitterstorm quickly followed, with over 1,500 tweets in two days. As you can see, CRISPR is too serious not to laugh at it!

Your CRISPR blogger tries the real thing

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My lab adventure in the Italian edition of Scientific American (Le Scienze)

It’s never too late to learn how to rewrite a genome. So here I am, attending this CRISPR school. Forget the do-it-yourself kits sold over the internet. I am lucky enough to take the first practical course on genome editing organized by the Italian Society of Agricultural Genetics (Siga) in Grugliasco, at the Department of Agricultural, Forestry and Food Sciences of the University of Turin. After writing a lot about CRISPR, it’s time to try the real thing. Continue reading

CRISPR best and worst in 2018

CRISPR contributed to Science’s Breakthrough of the Year and was also nominated for the Breakdown category by the same journal. The second nomination was an easy guess: He Jiankui and its baby-editing claim were also mentioned in Nature’s 10 for 2018. Much more interesting is the decision to celebrate cell-barcoding, the CRISPR-based technique used to track embryo development in stunning detail and over time. Continue reading