Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘CRISPR/Cas9 & Gene Editing’ Category


Live Conference Coverage AACR 2020 in Real Time: Monday June 22, 2020 Mid Day Sessions

Reporter: Stephen J. Williams, PhD

This post will be UPDATED during the next two days with notes from recordings from other talks

Follow Live in Real Time using

#AACR20

@pharma_BI

@AACR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Register for FREE at https://www.aacr.org/

 

AACR VIRTUAL ANNUAL MEETING II

 

June 22-24: Free Registration for AACR Members, the Cancer Community, and the Public
This virtual meeting will feature more than 120 sessions and 4,000 e-posters, including sessions on cancer health disparities and the impact of COVID-19 on clinical trials

 

This Virtual Meeting is Part II of the AACR Annual Meeting.  Part I was held online in April and was centered only on clinical findings.  This Part II of the virtual meeting will contain all the Sessions and Abstracts pertaining to basic and translational cancer research as well as clinical trial findings.

 

REGISTER NOW

 

Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Extraordinary Achievement in Cancer Research

The prestigious Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Extraordinary Achievement in Cancer Research was established in 1997 to annually recognize a scientist of international renown who has made a major scientific discovery in basic cancer research OR who has made significant contributions to translational cancer research; who continues to be active in cancer research and has a record of recent, noteworthy publications; and whose ongoing work holds promise for continued substantive contributions to progress in the field of cancer. For more information regarding the 2020 award recipient go to aacr.org/awards.

John E. Dick, Enzo Galligioni, David A Tuveson

DETAILS

Awardee: John E. Dick
Princess Anne Margaret Cancer Center, Toronto, Ontario
For determining how stem cells contribute to normal and leukemic hematopoeisis
  • not every cancer cell equal in their Cancer Hallmarks
  • how do we monitor and measure clonal dynamics
  • Barnie Clarkson did pivotal work on this
  • most cancer cells are post mitotic but minor populations of cells were dormant and survive chemotherapy
  •  only one cell is 1 in a million can regenerate and transplantable in mice and experiments with flow cytometry resolved the question of potency and repopulation of only small percentage of cells and undergo long term clonal population
  • so instead of going to cell lines and using thousands of shRNA looked at clinical data and deconvoluted the genetic information (RNASeq data) to determine progenitor and mature populations (how much is stem and how much is mature populations)
  • in leukemic patients they have seen massive expansion of a single stem cell population so only need one cell in AML if the stem cells have the mutational hits early on in their development
  • finding the “seeds of relapse”: finding the small subpopulation of stem cells that will relapse
  • they looked in BALL;;  there are cells resistant to l-aspariginase, dexamethasone, and vincristine
  • a lot of OXPHOS related genes (in DRIs) that may be the genes involved in this resistance
  • it a wonderful note of acknowledgement he dedicated this award to all of his past and present trainees who were the ones, as he said, made this field into what it is and for taking it into directions none of them could forsee

Monday, June 22

1:30 PM – 3:30 PM EDT

Virtual Educational Session

Experimental and Molecular Therapeutics, Drug Development, Cancer Chemistry

Chemistry to the Clinic: Part 1: Lead Optimization Case Studies in Cancer Drug Discovery

How can one continue to deliver innovative medicines to patients when biological targets are becoming ever scarcer and less amenable to therapeutic intervention? Are there sound strategies in place that can clear the path to targets previously considered “undruggable”? Recent advances in lead finding methods and novel technologies such as covalent screening and targeted protein degradation have enriched the toolbox at the disposal of drug discovery scientists to expand the druggable ta

Stefan N Gradl, Elena S Koltun, Scott D Edmondson, Matthew A. Marx, Joachim Rudolph

DETAILS

Monday, June 22

1:30 PM – 3:30 PM EDT

Virtual Educational Session

Bioinformatics and Systems Biology, Molecular and Cellular Biology/Genetics

Informatics Technologies for Cancer Research

Cancer researchers are faced with a deluge of high-throughput data. Using these data to advance understanding of cancer biology and improve clinical outcomes increasingly requires effective use of computational and informatics tools. This session will introduce informatics resources that support the data management, analysis, visualization, and interpretation. The primary focus will be on high-throughput genomic data and imaging data. Participants will be introduced to fundamental concepts

Rachel Karchin, Daniel Marcus, Andriy Fedorov, Obi Lee Griffith

DETAILS

  • Variant analysis is the big bottleneck, especially interpretation of variants
  • CIVIC resource is a network for curation, interpretation of genetic variants
  • CIVIC curators go through multiple rounds of editors review
  • gene summaries, variant summaries
  • curation follows ACSME guidelines
  • evidences are accumulated, categories by various ontologies and is the heart of the reports
  • as this is a network of curators the knowledgebase expands
  • CIVIC is linked to multiple external informatic, clinical, and genetic databases
  • they have curated 7017 clinical interpretations, 2527 variants, using 2578 papers, and over 1000 curators
  • they are currently integrating with COSMIC ClinVar, and UniProt
  • they are partnering with ClinGen to expand network of curators and their curation effort
  • CIVIC uses a Python interface; available on website

https://civicdb.org/home

The Precision Medicine Revolution

Precision medicine refers to the use of prevention and treatment strategies that are tailored to the unique features of each individual and their disease. In the context of cancer this might involve the identification of specific mutations shown to predict response to a targeted therapy. The biomedical literature describing these associations is large and growing rapidly. Currently these interpretations exist largely in private or encumbered databases resulting in extensive repetition of effort.

CIViC’s Role in Precision Medicine

Realizing precision medicine will require this information to be centralized, debated and interpreted for application in the clinic. CIViC is an open access, open source, community-driven web resource for Clinical Interpretation of Variants in Cancer. Our goal is to enable precision medicine by providing an educational forum for dissemination of knowledge and active discussion of the clinical significance of cancer genome alterations. For more details refer to the 2017 CIViC publication in Nature Genetics.

U24 funding announced: We are excited to announce that the Informatics Technology for Cancer Research (ICTR) program of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded funding to the CIViC team! Starting this year, a five-year, $3.7 million U24 award (CA237719), will support CIViC to develop Standardized and Genome-Wide Clinical Interpretation of Complex Genotypes for Cancer Precision Medicine.

Informatics tools for high-throughput analysis of cancer mutations

Rachel Karchin
  • CRAVAT is a platform to determine, categorize, and curate cancer mutations and cancer related variants
  • adding new tools used to be hard but having an open architecture allows for modular growth and easy integration of other tools
  • so they are actively making an open network using social media

Towards FAIR data in cancer imaging research

Andriy Fedorov, PhD

Towards the FAIR principles

While LOD has had some uptake across the web, the number of databases using this protocol compared to the other technologies is still modest. But whether or not we use LOD, we do need to ensure that databases are designed specifically for the web and for reuse by humans and machines. To provide guidance for creating such databases independent of the technology used, the FAIR principles were issued through FORCE11: the Future of Research Communications and e-Scholarship. The FAIR principles put forth characteristics that contemporary data resources, tools, vocabularies and infrastructures should exhibit to assist discovery and reuse by third-parties through the web. Wilkinson et al.,2016. FAIR stands for: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable. The definition of FAIR is provided in Table 1:

Number Principle
F Findable
F1 (meta)data are assigned a globally unique and persistent identifier
F2 data are described with rich metadata
F3 metadata clearly and explicitly include the identifier of the data it describes
F4 (meta)data are registered or indexed in a searchable resource
A Accessible
A1 (meta)data are retrievable by their identifier using a standardized communications protocol
A1.1 the protocol is open, free, and universally implementable
A1.2 the protocol allows for an authentication and authorization procedure, where necessary
A2 metadata are accessible, even when the data are no longer available
I Interoperable
I1 (meta)data use a formal, accessible, shared, and broadly applicable language for knowledge representation.
I2 (meta)data use vocabularies that follow FAIR principles
I3 (meta)data include qualified references to other (meta)data
R Reusable
R1 meta(data) are richly described with a plurality of accurate and relevant attributes
R1.1 (meta)data are released with a clear and accessible data usage license
R1.2 (meta)data are associated with detailed provenance
R1.3 (meta)data meet domain-relevant community standards

A detailed explanation of each of these is included in the Wilkinson et al., 2016 article, and the Dutch Techcenter for Life Sciences has a set of excellent tutorials, so we won’t go into too much detail here.

  • for outside vendors to access their data, vendors would need a signed Material Transfer Agreement but NCI had formulated a framework to facilitate sharing of data using a DIACOM standard for imaging data

Monday, June 22

1:30 PM – 3:01 PM EDT

Virtual Educational Session

Experimental and Molecular Therapeutics, Cancer Chemistry, Drug Development, Immunology

Engineering and Physical Sciences Approaches in Cancer Research, Diagnosis, and Therapy

The engineering and physical science disciplines have been increasingly involved in the development of new approaches to investigate, diagnose, and treat cancer. This session will address many of these efforts, including therapeutic methods such as improvements in drug delivery/targeting, new drugs and devices to effect immunomodulation and to synergize with immunotherapies, and intraoperative probes to improve surgical interventions. Imaging technologies and probes, sensors, and bioma

Claudia Fischbach, Ronit Satchi-Fainaro, Daniel A Heller

DETAILS

Monday, June 22

1:30 PM – 3:30 PM EDT

Virtual Educational Session

Survivorship

Exceptional Responders and Long-Term Survivors

How should we think about exceptional and super responders to cancer therapy? What biologic insights might ensue from considering these cases? What are ways in which considering super responders may lead to misleading conclusions? What are the pros and cons of the quest to locate exceptional and super responders?

Alice P Chen, Vinay K Prasad, Celeste Leigh Pearce

DETAILS

Monday, June 22

1:30 PM – 3:30 PM EDT

Virtual Educational Session

Tumor Biology, Immunology

Exploiting Metabolic Vulnerabilities in Cancer

The reprogramming of cellular metabolism is a hallmark feature observed across cancers. Contemporary research in this area has led to the discovery of tumor-specific metabolic mechanisms and illustrated ways that these can serve as selective, exploitable vulnerabilities. In this session, four international experts in tumor metabolism will discuss new findings concerning the rewiring of metabolic programs in cancer that support metabolic fitness, biosynthesis, redox balance, and the reg

Costas Andreas Lyssiotis, Gina M DeNicola, Ayelet Erez, Oliver Maddocks

DETAILS

Monday, June 22

1:30 PM – 3:30 PM EDT

Virtual Educational Session

Other Articles on this Open Access  Online Journal on Cancer Conferences and Conference Coverage in Real Time Include

Press Coverage

Live Notes, Real Time Conference Coverage 2020 AACR Virtual Meeting April 28, 2020 Symposium: New Drugs on the Horizon Part 3 12:30-1:25 PM

Live Notes, Real Time Conference Coverage 2020 AACR Virtual Meeting April 28, 2020 Session on NCI Activities: COVID-19 and Cancer Research 5:20 PM

Live Notes, Real Time Conference Coverage 2020 AACR Virtual Meeting April 28, 2020 Session on Evaluating Cancer Genomics from Normal Tissues Through Metastatic Disease 3:50 PM

Live Notes, Real Time Conference Coverage 2020 AACR Virtual Meeting April 28, 2020 Session on Novel Targets and Therapies 2:35 PM

Read Full Post »


Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN
Podcast From
McKinsey Global Institute

Programming life: An interview with Jennifer Doudna by Michael Chui, a partner of the McKinsey Global Institute

 

The article in PDF format

AUDIT the Podcast Interview by Michael Chui

Lightning round: Quick questions and answers with Jennifer Doudna

Michael Chui: Yes, nurturing the next generation is an incredible privilege and a great joy. That totally resonates with me. Next, I’d love to do a quick lightning round of quick questions, quick answers. They’re meant to be fun. If you don’t like one you could just say, “Pass.” Are you willing to do that with me?

Jennifer Doudna: Sure.

Michael Chui: Here we go. First, what’s your favorite source of information about biological innovations?

Jennifer Doudna: Twitter.

Michael Chui: What’s a thing you wish people understood about CRISPR?

Jennifer Doudna: Oh boy. I wish they understood that it’s an ancient immune system in bugs.

Michael Chui: What’s the number one thing that people get wrong about CRISPR?

Jennifer Doudna: I think what they get wrong is that it’s not a cure-all. It’s a powerful tool, but it can’t do everything.

Michael Chui: What excites you most about the Bio Revolution?

Jennifer Doudna: Thinking about what’s next and how we get there.

Michael Chui: What worries you most about the Biological Revolution?

Jennifer Doudna: Technology getting ahead of itself, and people proceeding to do things that can be done, but really should not be done.

Michael Chui: What application of biological technologies is most underhyped or underrecognized for its potential?

Jennifer Doudna: I think it’s the work in plants and agriculture. It doesn’t get a lot of attention, but it’s going to be extremely impactful.

Michael Chui: What application of biological innovation is most overhyped?

Jennifer Doudna: CRISPR babies.

Michael Chui: What job would you be doing today if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now?

Jennifer Doudna: I think I’d be an architect. I like building things.

Michael Chui: Not tomato farmer?

Jennifer Doudna: Well, that too. That’s very possible.

Michael Chui: Okay. In terms of tomatoes, do you think of yourself as a latter-day Mendel? Or is it just something you do for fun?

Jennifer Doudna: Mostly I do it for fun. I often tell my son, “If I had another life to live, I would probably be a plant geneticist.” Plant genetics is really fascinating.

Michael Chui: Did your childhood in Hawaii have anything to do with that? Because they have crazy plants there.

Jennifer Doudna: They do have crazy plants there. Yes, I’m sure it has a lot to do with it.

Michael Chui: All right, I have two more lightning round questions. To a student who is entering college today, what would you recommend that they study?

Jennifer Doudna: Computer science or robotics.

Michael Chui: Wait, we just spoke about how amazing biology is, and you’re saying computer science and robotics. What gives?

Pay attention to what’s happening in biology because it’s changing very quickly.

Jennifer Doudna

Jennifer Doudna: Well, I think those are going to intersect with biology. I really do. And when I say computer science and robotics, I increasingly think that those fields will include biology, because they have to.

Michael Chui: Finally, what one piece of advice do you have for listeners of this podcast?

Jennifer Doudna: Pay attention to what’s happening in biology because it’s changing very quickly.

Michael Chui: Great. Jennifer, thank you so much for joining us today, for sharing some of your insights. I’m Michael Chui with the McKinsey Global Institute. My guest has been Jennifer Doudna, discoverer of the gene-editing technology known as CRISPR, and who also directs the Innovative Genomics Institute at UC Berkeley. Thank you.

Jennifer Doudna: Thank you, Michael.

 

Jennifer Doudna, PhD is a professor of molecular and cell biology and chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley.

Jennifer is also the executive director of the Innovative Genomics Institute, the Li Ka Shing chancellor’s chair in Biomedical and Health Sciences, and a member of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Gladstone Institutes, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Her contributions to Life Sciences @UCBLettersSci

 

are captured in two books published in 2015 and in 2019 by Leaders in Pharmaceutical Business Intelligence (LPBI) Group, Boston

  • VOLUME 2: Latest in Genomics Methodologies for Therapeutics: Gene Editing, NGS & BioInformatics, Simulations and the Genome Ontology On Amazon.com since 12/28/2019

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08385KF87

 

 

Read Full Post »


Bioinformatic Tools for RNASeq: A Curation

Curator: Stephen J. Williams, Ph.D. 

 

Note:  This will be an ongoing curation as new information and tools become available.

RNASeq is a powerful tool for the analysis of the transcriptome profile and has been used to determine the transcriptional changes occurring upon stimuli such as drug treatment or detecting transcript differences between biological sample cohorts such as tumor versus normal tissue.  Unlike its genomic companion, whole genome and whole exome sequencing, which analyzes the primary sequence of the genomic DNA, RNASeq analyzes the mRNA transcripts, thereby more closely resembling the ultimate translated proteome. In addition, RNASeq and transcriptome profiling can determine if splicing variants occur as well as determining the nonexomic sequences, such as miRNA and lncRNA species, all of which have shown pertinence in the etiology of many diseases, including cancer.

However, RNASeq, like other omic technologies, generates enormous big data sets, which requires multiple types of bioinformatic tools in order to correctly analyze the sequence reads, and to visualize and interpret the output data.  This post represents a curation by the RNA-Seq blog of such tools useful for RNASeq studies and lists and reviews published literature using these curated tools.

 

From the RNA-Seq Blog

List of RNA-Seq bioinformatics tools

Posted by: RNA-Seq Blog in Data Analysis, Web Tools September 16, 2015 6,251 Views

from: https://en.wiki2.org/wiki/List_of_RNA-Seq_bioinformatics_tools

A review of some of the literature using some of the aforementioned curated tools are discussed below:

 

A.   Tools Useful for Single Cell RNA-Seq Analysis

 

B.  Tools for RNA-Seq Analysis of the Sliceasome

 

C.  Tools Useful for RNA-Seq read assembly visualization

 

Other articles on RNA and Transcriptomics in this Open Access Journal Include:

NIH to Award Up to $12M to Fund DNA, RNA Sequencing Research: single-cell genomics, sample preparation, transcriptomics and epigenomics, and genome-wide functional analysis.

Single-cell Genomics: Directions in Computational and Systems Biology – Contributions of Prof. Aviv Regev @Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cochair, the Human Cell Atlas Organizing Committee with Sarah Teichmann of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Complex rearrangements and oncogene amplification revealed by long-read DNA and RNA sequencing of a breast cancer cell line

Single-cell RNA-seq helps in finding intra-tumoral heterogeneity in pancreatic cancer

First challenge to make use of the new NCI Cloud Pilots – Somatic Mutation Challenge – RNA: Best algorithms for detecting all of the abnormal RNA molecules in a cancer cell

Evolution of the Human Cell Genome Biology Field of Gene Expression, Gene Regulation, Gene Regulatory Networks and Application of Machine Learning Algorithms in Large-Scale Biological Data Analysis

 

Read Full Post »


Medicine in 2045 – Perspectives by World Thought Leaders in the Life Sciences & Medicine

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

This report is based on an article in Nature Medicine | VOL 25 | December 2019 | 1800–1809 | http://www.nature.com/naturemedicine

Looking forward 25 years: the future of medicine.

Nat Med 25, 1804–1807 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41591-019-0693-y

 

Aviv Regev, PhD

Core member and chair of the faculty, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; director, Klarman Cell Observatory, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; professor of biology, MIT; investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; founding co-chair, Human Cell Atlas.

  • millions of genome variants, tens of thousands of disease-associated genes, thousands of cell types and an almost unimaginable number of ways they can combine, we had to approximate a best starting point—choose one target, guess the cell, simplify the experiment.
  • In 2020, advances in polygenic risk scores, in understanding the cell and modules of action of genes through genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and in predicting the impact of combinations of interventions.
  • we need algorithms to make better computational predictions of experiments we have never performed in the lab or in clinical trials.
  • Human Cell Atlas and the International Common Disease Alliance—and in new experimental platforms: data platforms and algorithms. But we also need a broader ecosystem of partnerships in medicine that engages interaction between clinical experts and mathematicians, computer scientists and engineers

Feng Zhang, PhD

investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; core member, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; James and Patricia Poitras Professor of Neuroscience, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT.

  • fundamental shift in medicine away from treating symptoms of disease and toward treating disease at its genetic roots.
  • Gene therapy with clinical feasibility, improved delivery methods and the development of robust molecular technologies for gene editing in human cells, affordable genome sequencing has accelerated our ability to identify the genetic causes of disease.
  • 1,000 clinical trials testing gene therapies are ongoing, and the pace of clinical development is likely to accelerate.
  • refine molecular technologies for gene editing, to push our understanding of gene function in health and disease forward, and to engage with all members of society

Elizabeth Jaffee, PhD

Dana and Albert “Cubby” Broccoli Professor of Oncology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; deputy director, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins.

  • a single blood test could inform individuals of the diseases they are at risk of (diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc.) and that safe interventions will be available.
  • developing cancer vaccines. Vaccines targeting the causative agents of cervical and hepatocellular cancers have already proven to be effective. With these technologies and the wealth of data that will become available as precision medicine becomes more routine, new discoveries identifying the earliest genetic and inflammatory changes occurring within a cell as it transitions into a pre-cancer can be expected. With these discoveries, the opportunities to develop vaccine approaches preventing cancers development will grow.

Jeremy Farrar, OBE FRCP FRS FMedSci

Director, Wellcome Trust.

  • shape how the culture of research will develop over the next 25 years, a culture that cares more about what is achieved than how it is achieved.
  • building a creative, inclusive and open research culture will unleash greater discoveries with greater impact.

John Nkengasong, PhD

Director, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • To meet its health challenges by 2050, the continent will have to be innovative in order to leapfrog toward solutions in public health.
  • Precision medicine will need to take center stage in a new public health order— whereby a more precise and targeted approach to screening, diagnosis, treatment and, potentially, cure is based on each patient’s unique genetic and biologic make-up.

Eric Topol, MD

Executive vice-president, Scripps Research Institute; founder and director, Scripps Research Translational Institute.

  • In 2045, a planetary health infrastructure based on deep, longitudinal, multimodal human data, ideally collected from and accessible to as many as possible of the 9+ billion people projected to then inhabit the Earth.
  • enhanced capabilities to perform functions that are not feasible now.
  • AI machines’ ability to ingest and process biomedical text at scale—such as the corpus of the up-to-date medical literature—will be used routinely by physicians and patients.
  • the concept of a learning health system will be redefined by AI.

Linda Partridge, PhD

Professor, Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing.

  • Geroprotective drugs, which target the underlying molecular mechanisms of ageing, are coming over the scientific and clinical horizons, and may help to prevent the most intractable age-related disease, dementia.

Trevor Mundel, MD

President of Global Health, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

  • finding new ways to share clinical data that are as open as possible and as closed as necessary.
  • moving beyond drug donations toward a new era of corporate social responsibility that encourages biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to offer their best minds and their most promising platforms.
  • working with governments and multilateral organizations much earlier in the product life cycle to finance the introduction of new interventions and to ensure the sustainable development of the health systems that will deliver them.
  • deliver on the promise of global health equity.

Josep Tabernero, MD, PhD

Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO); president, European Society for Medical Oncology (2018–2019).

  • genomic-driven analysis will continue to broaden the impact of personalized medicine in healthcare globally.
  • Precision medicine will continue to deliver its new paradigm in cancer care and reach more patients.
  • Immunotherapy will deliver on its promise to dismantle cancer’s armory across tumor types.
  • AI will help guide the development of individually matched
  • genetic patient screenings
  • the promise of liquid biopsy policing of disease?

Pardis Sabeti, PhD

Professor, Harvard University & Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

  • the development and integration of tools into an early-warning system embedded into healthcare systems around the world could revolutionize infectious disease detection and response.
  • But this will only happen with a commitment from the global community.

Els Toreele, PhD

Executive director, Médecins Sans Frontières Access Campaign

  • we need a paradigm shift such that medicines are no longer lucrative market commodities but are global public health goods—available to all those who need them.
  • This will require members of the scientific community to go beyond their role as researchers and actively engage in R&D policy reform mandating health research in the public interest and ensuring that the results of their work benefit many more people.
  • The global research community can lead the way toward public-interest driven health innovation, by undertaking collaborative open science and piloting not-for-profit R&D strategies that positively impact people’s lives globally.

Read Full Post »


CRISPR companies calling for article retraction from Nature Methods – If the same or similar sequence of letters appears elsewhere in the genome, that can result in an unintentional or off-target edit – Concerns of Harm caused by Gene Editing using CRISPR-Cas9

 

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

Storm around the call for “Nature Methods editorial board to retract this paper.”

A spokesperson at Springer Nature, which publishes Nature Methods, said the organization had received “a number of communications” already about the paper. “We are carefully considering all concerns that have been raised with us and are discussing them with the authors,” the journal said. Vinit Mahajan of Stanford University, who was the paper’s senior author, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Another author, Alexander Bassuck of the University of Iowa, said he was traveling and unable to respond immediately.

 

The paper, titled

Unexpected mutations after CRISPR–Cas9 editing in vivo, triggered a rash of negative headlines after claiming the gene-editing tool caused widespread and unpredictable havoc in the genomes of edited mice, introducing hundreds of unintended errors.

The stock market value of Editas Medicine, Intellia Therapeutics, and CRISPR Therapeutics, which together have raised more than $1 billion to pursue CRISPR treatments, all fell sharply on the news.

CRISPR technology is widely touted as a revolutionary new means of easily altering DNA. But its promise is being exaggerated in media reports, including some that claim it will cure all genetic disease and solve the world’s food problems with superplants.

CRISPR can be programmed to cut specific sequences of DNA letters, thereby correcting or changing genes. While this versatility is what makes it powerful, if the same or similar sequence of letters appears elsewhere in the genome, that can result in an unintentional or off-target edit. Concern over the technique’s potential side effects is widely shared, even by some of its inventors.

The fear is that planned medical treatments using CRISPR could prove dangerous. A single erroneous cut could be disastrous for patients if it lands in a vital gene. Fifteen years ago, pioneering experiments in gene therapy were set back when unintentional genetic changes caused cancer in some children. Many scientists believe careful programming can eliminate most of the risk.

The ease of use of CRISPR means nearly any lab can try it. In China, some human experiments have already begun. The rush to use the method is part of what’s creating anxiety, since it makes mistakes more likely. Editas recently postponed its own planned study of CRISPR to correct an eye disease until next year.

According to Intellia, however, the authors showed “disregard” for what’s already known about CRISPR. “It is clear the authors are not experts on the CRISPR Cas9, whole genome sequencing, nor basic genetics. Their claim of ‘unexpected mutations’ clearly demonstrates their lack of scientific acumen around this topic,” the company said.

SOURCE

Gene-Editing Companies Hit Back at Paper That Criticized CRISPR

Report that suggested CRISPR is too dangerous to use as a drug was wrong, say biotech companies.

Jun 9, 2017

EmTech: Risks of Gene-Editing Drugs Need Study, Pioneer Warns

One of the inventors of gene editing says scientists should proceed cautiously before testing it in people.

Read Full Post »


Human gene editing continues to hold a major fascination within a biomedical and biopharmaceutical industries. It’s extraordinary potential is now being realized but important questions as to who will be the beneficiaries of such breakthrough technologies remained to be answered. The session will discuss whether gene editing technologies can alleviate some of the most challenging unmet medical needs. We will discuss how research advances often never reach minority communities and how diverse patient populations will gain access to such breakthrough technologies. It is widely recognize that there are patient voids in the population and we will explore how community health centers might fill this void to ensure that state-of-the-art technologies can reach the forgotten patient groups . We also will touch ethical questions surrounding germline editing and how such research and development could impact the community at large.

Please follow LIVE on TWITTER using the following @ handles and # hashtags:

@Handles

@pharma_BI

@AVIVA1950

@BIOConvention

# Hashtags

#BIO2019 (official meeting hashtag)

Read Full Post »


Update 6/11/2020

CRISPR-IL used to develop next-gen genome editing products

  1. Haifa-based Pluristem Therapeutics is a regenerative medicine company that plans to develop next-generation multi-species genome editing products for human, plant and animal DNA that could improve work done in the pharma, agriculture and aquaculture industries.
  2. The CRISPR-IL consortium includes Sheba Medical Center and Schneider Children’s Medical Center, Bar-Ilan University, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Weizmann Institute of Science, IDC Herzliya and Tel-Aviv University.
  3. This consortium is also joined by Pluristem Therapeutics, which plans to bring together a team of multi-disciplinary experts to develop artificial intelligence  based end-to-end genome-editing solutions.
  4. The genome editing product designed by Pluristerm should improve existing technology.
  5. The project also includes “the computational design of on-target DNA modification, with minimal accidental, off-target modifications, improve modification efficiency.
  6. The product provides an accurate measuring tool to ensure the desired modification.

SOURCE

https://www.jpost.com/health-science/pluristem-joins-crispr-il-to-develop-next-gen-genome-editing-products-630337?utm_source=ActiveCampaign

CRISPR cuts turn gels into biological watchdogs

Reporter: Irina Robu, PhD

Genome editing if of significant interest in the prevention and treatment of human diseases including single-gene disorders such as cystic fibrosis, hemophilia and sickle cell disease. It also shows great promise for the prevention and treatment of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, mental illness and human immunodeficiency virus infection. However, ethical concerns arise when genome editing, using technologies such as CRISPR-Cas9 is used to alter human genomes.

James Collins, bioengineer at MIT and his team worked with water-filled polymers that are held together by strands of DNA, known as DNA hydrogels. To alter the properties of these materials, these scientists turned to a form of CRISPR that uses a DNA-snipping enzyme called Cas12a, which can be programed to recognize a specific DNA sequence. The enzyme then cuts its target DNA strand, then severs single strands of DNA nearby. This property lets scientists to build a series of CRISPR-controlled hydrogels encapsulating a target DNA sequence and single strands of DNA, which break up after Cas12a identifies the target sequence in a stimulus. The break-up of the single DNA strands activates the hydrogels to change shape or completely dissolve, releasing a payload.

According to Collins and his team, the programmed hydrogels will release enzymes, small molecules and human cells as part of a smart therapy in response to stimuli. However, in order to make it a smart therapeutic, the researchers in collaboration with Dan Luo, bioengineer at Cornell University placed the CRISPR- controlled hydrogels into electric circuits. The circuit is switched off in response to the detection of the genetic material of harmful pathogens such as Ebola virus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The team used these hydrogels to develop a prototype diagnostic tool that sends a wireless signal to identify Ebola in lab samples.

Yet, it is evident that these CRISPR-controlled hydrogels show great potential for the prevention and treatment of diseases.

SOURCE

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02542-3?utm_source=Nature+Briefing

 

 

 

Read Full Post »


At Technical University of Munich (TUM) Successful Genetical modification of a patient’s own immune cells, T cell receptors, using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing tool. The engineered T cells are very similar to the physiological immune cells.

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

Targeted exchange using the CRISPR-Cas9 gene scissors

The problem with conventional methods is that the genetic information for the new receptors is randomly inserted into the genome. This means that T cells are produced with both new and old receptors or with receptors having one old and one new chain. As a result, the cells do not function as effectively as physiological T cells and are also controlled differently. Moreover, there is a danger that the mixed chains could trigger dangerous side effects (Graft-versus-Host Disease, GvHD).

“Using the CRISPR method, we’ve been able to completely replace the natural receptors with new ones, because we’re able to insert them into the very same location in the genome. In addition, we’ve replaced the information for both chains so that there are no longer any mixed receptors,” explains Kilian Schober, who is a lead author of the new study along with his colleague Thomas Müller.

Near-natural properties

Thomas Müller explains the advantages of the modified T cells: “They’re much more similar to physiological T cells, yet they can be changed flexibly. They’re controlled like physiological cells and have the same structure, but are capable of being genetically modified.“ The scientists have demonstrated in a cell culture model that T cells modified in this way behave nearly exactly like their natural counterparts.

“Another advantage is that the new method allows multiple T cells to be modified simultaneously so that they’re able to recognize different targets and can be used in combination. This is especially interesting for cancer therapy, because tumors are highly heterogeneous,” Dirk Busch adds. In the future, the team plans to investigate the new cells and their properties in preclinical mouse models, an important step in preparing for clinical trials with humans.

Original Publication

Kilian Schober, Thomas R. Müller, Füsun Gökmen, Simon Grassmann, Manuel Effenberger, Mateusz Poltorak, Christian Stemberger, Kathrin Schumann, Theodore L. Roth, Alexander Marson and Dirk H. Busch: Orthotopic replacement of T-cell receptor ɑ- and β-chains with preservation of near-physiological, Nature Biomedical Engineering, June 12, 2019, DOI: 10.1038/s41551-019-0409-0

 

SOURCE

https://www.tum.de/nc/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35560/

Read Full Post »


@BroadInstitute a shift from Permanently editing DNA to Temporarily revising RNA – An approach with promise for addressing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by deactivating APOE4 – RESCUE: RNA Editing for Specific C to U Exchange, the platform builds on REPAIR: RNA Editing for Programmable A to I

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

  • The RNA editors converted “the nucleotide base adenine to inosine, or letters A to I. Zhang and colleagues took the REPAIR fusion and evolved it in the lab until it could change cytosine to uridine, or C to U.”
  • Using Cas13, Zhang’s team was able to take the APOE4 gene — believed to carry the added risk of spurring Alzheimer’s — and changed it to a benign APOE2.

RNA-guided DNA insertion with CRISPR-associated transposases

Science  05 Jul 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6448, pp. 48-53
DOI: 10.1126/science.aax9181
SOURCE

Other related articles on CRISPR derived Gene Editing for Gene Therapy published in this Open Access on Online Scientific Journal include the following:

 

Latest in Genomics Methodologies for Therapeutics: Gene Editing, NGS & BioInformatics, Simulations and the Genome Ontology

Forthcoming 12/2019, Volume Two

by

Prof. Marcus W. Feldman, PhD, Editor, Stanford University

Prof. Stephen J. Williams, PhD, Editor, Temple University

and Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN, Editor, LPBI Group 

 

Part 2: CRISPR for Gene Editing and DNA Repair

2.1 The Science – 77 articles

2.2 Technologies and Methodologies – 27 articles

2.3 Clinical Aspects – 9 articles

2.4 Business and Legal – 18 articles

 

Series B: Frontiers in Genomics Research

 

  • VOLUME 1: Genomics Orientations for Personalized Medicine. On Amazon.com since 11/23/2015

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018DHBUO6

Read Full Post »


FIVE Forthcoming Books on CRISPR in 2019-2020: Flooded market or CRISPR-fatigued readers – Not to Worry !!!!!

Author: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

From: Aviva Lev-Ari <AvivaLev-Ari@alum.berkeley.edu>

Date: Thursday, July 4, 2019 at 8:39 PM

To: <damian.garde@statnews.com>

Cc: Marcus W Feldman <mfeldman@stanford.edu>, “Stephen Williams, PhD” <sjwilliamspa@comcast.net>, Aviva Lev-Ari <AvivaLev-Ari@alum.berkeley.edu>, Gail Thornton <gailsthornton@yahoo.com>

Subject: Regarding your article: Walter Isaacson is writing a book about CRISPR. He’s got company —>>>>>> e-mail from AVIVA LEV-ARI, PhD, RN, EDITOR-in-CHIEF PharmaceuticalIntelligence.com

attn:

damian.garde@statnews.com

 

Dear Mr. Grade,

 

In your article

Walter Isaacson is writing a book about CRISPR. He’s got company

By DAMIAN GARDE @damiangarde 7/2/2019

https://www.statnews.com/2019/07/02/walter-isaacson-crispr-books/?utm_source=STAT+Newsletters

 

you mention the following FOUR forthcoming books on CRISPR:

 

  • Walter Isaacson, the famed biographer, is among a number of authors working on books about gene editing and CRISPR.

Title TBD, Year of Publication and Publisher, TBD

 

  • Kevin Davies

“Editing Mankind,”

Forthcoming 2020, Pegasus

 

  • Michael Specter, Stanford University

Title TBD

Forthcoming 202?, Crown Publishing Group

 

Altered Inheritance – CRISPR and the Ethics of Human Genome Editing

Harvard University Press

HARDCOVER

$24.95 • £19.95 • €22.50

ISBN 9780674976719

Publication Date: 09/17/2019

 

I wish to bring to your attention the following book on Genomics that has in its Part 2 over 100 articles on CRISPR.

  • This book is part of a Series of 16 Books in Medicine

https://lnkd.in/ekWGNqA

available on amazon.com

Latest in Genomics Methodologies for Therapeutics: Gene Editing, NGS & BioInformatics, Simulations and the Genome Ontology

Forthcoming 12/2019, Volume Two

by

Prof. Marcus W. Feldman, PhD, Editor, Stanford University

Prof. Stephen J. Williams, PhD, Editor, Temple University

and Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN, Editor, LPBI Group 

 

Part 2: CRISPR for Gene Editing and DNA Repair

2.1 The Science – 77 articles

2.2 Technologies and Methodologies – 27 articles

2.3 Clinical Aspects – 9 articles

2.4 Business and Legal – 18 articles

 

It will be appreciated if you will write a follow up to your 7/2/2019 article to cover this volume (Eight Parts) and all our 16 volumes, BioMed e-Series, 96,000 Page Downloads !!

 

 

SOURCE for Damian Grade’s article in StatNews:

Walter Isaacson is writing a book about CRISPR. He’s got company

By DAMIAN GARDE @damiangarde 7/2/2019

National Biotech Reporter

Damian covers biotech and writes The Readout newsletter.

damian.garde@statnews.com

https://www.statnews.com/2019/07/02/walter-isaacson-crispr-books/?utm_source=STAT+Newsletters

 

Looking forward to hearing from you

Sincerely, yours,

 

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

Director & Founder

https://lnkd.in/eEyn69r

Leaders in Pharmaceutical Business Intelligence (LPBI) Group, Boston

Editor-in-Chief

http://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com

e-Mail: avivalev-ari@alum.berkeley.edu

(M) 617-775-0451

https://cal.berkeley.edu/AvivaLev-Ari,PhD,RN

SkypeID: HarpPlayer83          LinkedIn Profile        Twitter Profile

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »