Keywords: CRISPR

Genetic conversion of a split-drive into a full-drive element

G. Terradas, J. B. Bennett, Z. Li, J. M. Marshall and E. Bier,  Nature Communications,  14:191. 2023.
The core components of CRISPR-based gene drives, Cas9 and guide RNA (gRNA), either can be linked within a self-contained single cassette (full gene-drive, fGD) or be provided in two separate elements (split gene-drive, sGD), the latter offering greater control options. We ...
Keywords: , ,

Researchers Create New System for Safer Gene-Drive Testing and Development

M. Aguilera,  UC San Diego Today,  2023.
In the journal Nature Communications, University of California San Diego researchers led by former Postdoctoral Scholar Gerard Terradas together with Postdoctoral Scholar Zhiqian Li and Professor Ethan Bier, in close collaboration with UC Berkeley graduate student Jared Bennett ...
Keywords: , ,

Assessment of distant-site rescue elements for CRISPR toxin-antidote gene drives

J. Chen, X. Xu and J. Champer,  bioRxiv,  2023.01.06.522951. 2023.
New types of gene drives promise to provide increased flexibility, offering many options for confined modification or suppression of target populations. Among the most promising are CRISPR toxin-antidote gene drives, which disrupt essential wild-type genes by targeting them with ...
Keywords: , ,

CRISPR Gene Drives: A Weapon of Mass Destruction?

J. Ng,  Medium,  2022.
Gene drives allow scientists to “drive” new genes — and their associated traits — into wildlife populations at unprecedented rates. Here’s a simplified explanation of how gene drives work. In normal sexual reproduction between species with two copies of chromosomes, ...
Keywords: , ,

Genes drive organisms and slippery slopes

D. B. Resnik, R. F. Medina, F. Gould, G. Church and J. Kuzma,  Pathog Glob Health,  2022.
The bioethical debate about using gene drives to alter or eradicate wild populations has focused mostly on issues concerning short-term risk assessment and management, governance and oversight, and public and community engagement, but has not examined big-picture- 'where is this ...
Keywords: , ,

Gene editing and agrifood systems

FAO,  FAO,  2022.
Gene-editing technologies represent a promising new tool for plant and animal breeding in low- and middle-income countries. They enhance precision and efficiency over current breeding methods and could lead to rapid development of improved plant varieties and animal breeds. ...
Keywords: , ,

Performance characteristics allow for confinement of a CRISPR toxin-antidote gene drive designed for population suppression

S. Zhang and J. Champer,  bioRxiv,  2022.12.13.520356. 2022.
Gene drives alleles that can bias their own inheritance are a promising way to engineer populations for control of disease vectors, invasive species, and agricultural pests. Recent advancements in the field have yielded successful examples of powerful suppression type drives and ...
Keywords: , ,

Bioinformatic and literature assessment of toxicity and allergenicity of a CRISPR-Cas9 engineered gene drive to control the human malaria mosquito vector Anopheles gambiae

A. Qureshi and J. B. Connolly,  Malaria Journal,  2022.
Population suppression gene drive is currently being evaluated, including via environmental risk assessment (ERA), for malaria vector control. One such gene drive involves the dsxFCRISPRh transgene encoding (i) hCas9 endonuclease, (i) T1 guide RNA (gRNA) targeting the doublesex ...
Keywords: , ,

A CRISPR endonuclease gene drive reveals distinct mechanisms of inheritance bias

S. A. N. Verkuijl, E. Gonzalez, M. Li, J. X. D. Ang, N. P. Kandul, M. A. E. Anderson, O. S. Akbari, M. B. Bonsall and L. Alphey,  Nature Communications,  13:7145. 2022.
CRISPR/Cas gene drives can bias transgene inheritance through different mechanisms. Homing drives are designed to replace a wild-type allele with a copy of a drive element on the homologous chromosome. In Aedes aegypti, the sex-determining locus is closely linked to the white ...
Keywords: , ,

CRISPR-Mediated Cassette Exchange (CriMCE): A Method to Introduce and Isolate Precise Marker-Less Edits

I. Morianou, A. Crisanti, T. Nolan and A. M. Hammond,  The CRISPR Journal,  2022.
The introduction of small unmarked edits to the genome of insects is essential to study the molecular underpinnings of important biological traits, such as resistance to insecticides and genetic control strategies. Advances in CRISPR genome engineering have made this possible, ...
Keywords: , ,

Assessing single-locus CRISPR/Cas9-based gene drive variants in the mosquito Aedes aegypti via single generation crosses and modeling

W. Reid, A. E. Williams, I. Sanchez-Vargas, J. Lin, R. Juncu, K. E. Olson and A. W. E. Franz,  G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics,  2022.
Critical to the design of a single-locus autonomous GD is that the selected genomic locus is amenable to both GD and appropriate expression of the antiviral effector. In our study, we used reverse engineering to target two intergenic genomic loci, which had previously shown to be ...
Keywords: , ,

Combating Mosquito-Borne Diseases with CRISPR

N. Spahich,  The Scientist,  2022.
Female mosquitoes are some of the deadliest organisms in the world due to their ability to spread infectious diseases through a simple bite. Mosquito-borne diseases such as yellow fever, Zika, Dengue fever, and malaria kill millions of humans every year, and there are limited ...
Keywords: , ,

A theory of resistance to multiplexed gene drive demonstrates the significant role of weakly deleterious natural genetic variation

B. S. Khatri and A. Burt,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,  119:e2200567119. 2022.
CRISPR-based gene drives have the potential for controlling natural populations of disease vectors, such as malaria-carrying mosquitoes in sub-Saharan Africa. If successful, they hold promise of significantly reducing the burden of disease and death from malaria and many other ...
Keywords: , ,

Development of CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Gene-Drive Construct Targeting the Phenotypic Gene in Plutella xylostella

M. Asad, D. Liu, J. Li, J. Chen and G. Yang,  Frontiers in Physiology,  13:938621. 2022.
The gene-drive system can ensure that desirable traits are transmitted to the progeny more than the normal Mendelian segregation. The clustered regularly interspersed palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) mediated gene-drive system has been demonstrated ...
Keywords: , ,

CRISPR-Mediated Genome Engineering in Aedes aegypti

R. Sun, M. Li, C. J. McMeniman and O. S. Akbari,  piRNA: Methods and Protocols,  2022.
CRISPR-mediated genome engineering technologies have been adapted to a wide variety of organisms with high efficiency and specificity. The yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegyptiAedes aegypti, is one such organism. It is also responsible for transmitting a wide variety of deadly ...
Keywords: , ,

Gene Drives: A Potentially New Weapon Against Mosquitoes

M. Sherman,  Times Union Online,  2022.
Scientists have studied gene drives for more than 50 years, and to most of us this has been a well-kept secret. The development of a powerful genome editing tool in 2012, CRISPR/Cas9,1 led to recent breakthroughs in gene drive research that built on that half century’s worth ...
Keywords: , ,

Active genetics comes alive

V. M. Gantz and E. Bier,  BioEssays,  2022.
Abstract Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)-based ?active genetic? elements developed in 2015 bypassed the fundamental rules of traditional genetics. Inherited in a super-Mendelian fashion, such selfish genetic entities offered a variety of ...
Keywords: , ,

Investigating CRISPR/Cas9 gene drive for production of disease-preventing prion gene alleles

A. R. Castle, S. Wohlgemuth, L. Arce and D. Westaway,  PLoS One,  17:e0269342. 2022.
Prion diseases are a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders that includes chronic wasting disease, which affects cervids and is highly transmissible. Given that chronic wasting disease prevalence exceeds 30% in some endemic areas of North America, and that eventual ...
Keywords: , ,

Gene Editing and Genetic Control of Hemipteran Pests: Progress, Challenges and Perspectives

I. D. Pacheco, L. L. Walling and P. W. Atkinson,  Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology,  10. 2022.
The origin of the order Hemiptera can be traced to the late Permian Period more than 230 MYA, well before the origin of flowering plants 100 MY later in during the Cretaceous period. Hemipteran species consume their liquid diets using a sucking proboscis; for phytophagous ...
Keywords: , ,

Leveraging a natural murine meiotic drive to suppress invasive populations

L. Gierus, A. Birand, M. D. Bunting, G. I. Godahewa, S. G. Piltz, K. P. Oh, A. J. Piaggio, D. W. Threadgill, J. Godwin, O. Edwards, P. Cassey, J. V. Ross, T. A. A. Prowse and P. Q. Thomas,  bioRxiv,  2022.05.31.494104. 2022.
Invasive rodents, including house mice, are a major cause of environmental damage and biodiversity loss, particularly in island ecosystems. Eradication can be achieved through the distribution of rodenticide, but this approach is expensive to apply at scale, can have negative ...
Keywords: , ,

A nickase Cas9 gene-drive system promotes super-Mendelian inheritance in Drosophila

V. L. Del Amo, S. S. Juste and V. M. Gantz,  Cell Rep,  39:110843. 2022.
CRISPR-based gene-drives have been proposed for managing insect populations, including disease-transmitting mosquitoes, due to their ability to bias their inheritance toward super-Mendelian rates (>50%). Current technologies use a Cas9 that introduces DNA double-strand breaks ...
Keywords: , ,

Intronic gRNAs for the Construction of Minimal Gene Drive Systems

A. Nash, P. Capriotti, A. Hoermann, P. A. Papathanos and N. Windbichler,  Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology,  10. 2022.
Gene drives are promising tools for the genetic control of insect vector or pest populations. CRISPR-based gene drives are generally highly complex synthetic constructs consisting of multiple transgenes and their respective regulatory elements. This complicates the generation of ...
Keywords: , ,

Double-tap gene drive uses iterative genome targeting to help overcome resistance alleles

A. L. Bishop, V. López Del Amo, E. M. Okamoto, Z. Bodai, A. C. Komor and V. M. Gantz,  Nat Commun,  13:2595. 2022.
Homing CRISPR gene drives could aid in curbing the spread of vector-borne diseases and controlling crop pest and invasive species populations due to an inheritance rate that surpasses Mendelian laws. However, this technology suffers from resistance alleles formed when the ...
Keywords: , ,

CRISPR/Cas9 mediates efficient site-specific mutagenesis of the odorant receptor co-receptor (Orco) in the malaria vector Anopheles sinensis

Y. Wang, X. F. He, L. Qiao, Z. R. Yu, B. Chen and Z. B. He,  Pest Management Science,  11. 2022.
BACKGROUND Anopheles sinensis is the most widely distributed mosquito species and is the main transmitter of Plasmodium vivax malaria in China. Most previous research has focused on the mechanistic understanding of biological processes in An. sinensis and novel ways of ...
Keywords: , ,

A New Approach to Develop Resistant Cultivars Against the Plant Pathogens: CRISPR Drives

M. I. Tek and K. Budak,  Frontiers in Plant Science,  13. 2022.
CRISPR drive is a recent and robust tool that allows durable genetic manipulation of the pest population like human disease vectors such as malaria vector mosquitos. In recent years, it has been suggested that CRISPR drives can also be used to control plant diseases, pests, and ...
Keywords: , ,

Biotechnological Road Map for Innovative Weed Management

A. C. S. Wong, K. Massel, Y. Lam, J. Hintzsche and B. S. Chauhan,  Frontiers in Plant Science,  13. 2022.
In most agriculture farmlands, weed management is predominantly reliant on integrated weed management (IWM) strategies, such as herbicide application. However, the overuse and misuse of herbicides, coupled with the lack of novel active ingredients, has resulted in the uptrend of ...
Keywords: , ,

Gene drive escape from resistance depends on mechanism and ecology

F. Cook, J. J. Bull and R. Gomulkiewicz,  Evolutionary Applications,  2022.
Abstract Gene drives can potentially be used to suppress pest populations, and the advent of CRISPR technology has made it feasible to engineer them in many species, especially insects. What remains largely unknown for implementations is whether antidrive resistance will evolve ...
Keywords: , ,

Modelling homing suppression gene drive in haplodiploid organisms

Y. Liu and J. Champer,  Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences,  289:20220320. 2022.
Gene drives have shown great promise for suppression of pest populations.These engineered alleles can function by a variety of mechanisms, but themost common is the CRISPR homing drive, which converts wild-type allelesto drive alleles in the germline of heterozygotes. Some ...
Keywords: , ,

A homing suppression gene drive with multiplexed gRNAs maintains high drive conversion efficiency and avoids functional resistance alleles

E. Yang, M. Metzloff, A. M. Langmuller, X. J. Xu, A. G. Clark, P. W. Messer and J. Champer,  G3-Genes Genomes Genetics,  13. 2022.
Gene drives are engineered alleles that can bias inheritance in their favor, allowing them to spread throughout a population. They could potentially be used to modify or suppress pest populations, such as mosquitoes that spread diseases. CRISPR/Cas9 homing drives, which copy ...
Keywords: , ,

Cas9-mediated maternal-effect and derived resistance alleles in a gene-drive strain of the African malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles gambiae

R. Carballar-Lejarazú, T. Tushar, T. B. Pham and A. A. James,  Genetics,  2022.
CRISPR/Cas9 technologies are important tools for the development of gene-drive systems to modify mosquito vector populations to control the transmission of pathogens that cause diseases such as malaria. However, one of the challenges for current Cas9-based drive systems is their ...
Keywords: , ,

Expanding the flexibility of genome editing approaches for population control of the malaria mosquito

N. Kranjc,  Imperial College London-PhD,  2022.
Discovery and adaptation of CRISPR-Cas systems for genome editing have allowed us to gain an efficient and yet simple tool for genetic manipulation in various fields of molecular biology and biotechnology. One of the most promising applications is the use of CRISPR-Cas9 ...
Keywords: , ,

CRISPR-mediated knockout of cardinal and cinnabar eye pigmentation genes in the western tarnished plant bug

C. C. Heu, R. J. Gross, K. P. Le, D. M. LeRoy, B. Fan, J. J. Hull, C. S. Brent and J. A. Fabrick,  Scientific Reports,  12. 2022.
The western tarnished plant bug, Lygus hesperus, is a key hemipteran pest of numerous agricultural, horticultural, and industrial crops in the western United States and Mexico. A lack of genetic tools in L. hesperus hinders progress in functional genomics and in developing ...
Keywords: , ,

A homing suppression gene drive with multiplexed gRNAs maintains high drive conversion efficiency and avoids functional resistance alleles

E. Yang, M. Metzloff, A. M. Langmüller, X. Xu, A. G. Clark, P. W. Messer and J. Champer,  bioRxiv,  2021.05.27.446071. 2022.
Gene drives are engineered alleles that can bias inheritance in their favor, allowing them to spread throughout a population. They could potentially be used to modify or suppress pest populations, such as mosquitoes that spread diseases. CRISPR/Cas9 homing drives, which copy ...
Keywords: , ,

Modelling homing suppression gene drive in haplodiploid organisms

Y. Liu and J. Champer,  bioRxiv,  2021.10.12.464047. 2022.
Gene drives have shown great promise for suppression of pest populations. These engineered alleles can function by a variety of mechanisms, but the most common is the CRISPR homing drive, which converts wild-type alleles to drive alleles in the germline of heterozygotes. Some ...
Keywords: , ,

Considerations for homology-based DNA repair in mosquitoes: Impact of sequence heterology and donor template source

J. X. D. Ang, K. Nevard, R. Ireland, D.-K. Purusothaman, S. A. N. Verkuijl, L. Shackleford, E. Gonzalez, M. A. E. Anderson and L. Alphey,  PLOS Genetics,  18:e1010060. 2022.
Author summary The field of genetic control of mosquito vectors has progressed rapidly in recent years, especially in Cas9-based control systems, due to its robustness to elicit a species-specific and dispersive control of mosquito population. To generate a Cas9-based ...
Keywords: , ,

Gene drives for vertebrate pest control: realistic spatial modelling of eradication probabilities and times for island mouse populations

A. Birand, P. Cassey, J. V. Ross, J. C. Russell, P. Thomas and T. A. A. Prowse,  Molecular Ecology,  2022.
Abstract Invasive alien species continue to threaten global biodiversity. CRISPR-based gene drives, which can theoretically spread through populations despite imparting a fitness cost, could be used to suppress or eradicate pest populations. We develop an individual-based, ...
Keywords: , ,

Could we delete diseases passed down through our DNA?

E. Rayne,  SYFY,  2022.
What has now been proven possible was once the stuff of science fiction dreams. CRISPR has shown it can successfully edit out detrimental genetic conditions before they are inherited — which could mean the beginning of the end for hereditary diseases. It could also help ...
Keywords: , ,

Analysis of a Cas12a-based gene-drive system in budding yeast

I. C. Lewis, Y. Yan and G. C. Finnigan,  Access Microbiol,  3:000301. 2022.
The discovery and adaptation of CRISPR/Cas systems within molecular biology has provided advances across biological research, agriculture and human health. Genomic manipulation through use of a CRISPR nuclease and programmed guide RNAs has become a common and widely accessible ...
Keywords: , ,

Scientists expand CRISPR-Cas9 genetic inheritance control in mammals

M. Aguilera,  Phys Org,  2022.
Led by graduate student Alexander Weitzel, Grunwald, Cooper and their colleagues have now succeeded in developing CRISPR-Cas9 inheritance control in male mice by shifting the gene editing window to more closely match the timing of meiosis in both sexes. Their results were ...
Keywords: , ,

Insect Allies – Assessment of a Viral Approach to Plant Genome Editing

K. Pfeifer, J. L. Frieß and B. Giese,  Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management,  2022.
The DARPA program Insect Allies has already sparked scientific debate concerning technology assessment-related issues, among which the most prevalent is that of dual use potential. As apart from the issues concerning peaceful applications, the technology also provides the ...
Keywords: , ,

Reversing insecticide resistance with allelic-drive in Drosophila melanogaster

B. Kaduskar, R. B. S. Kushwah, A. Auradkar, A. Guichard, M. Li, J. B. Bennett, A. H. F. Julio, J. M. Marshall, C. Montell and E. Bier,  Nature Communications,  13:291. 2022.
A recurring target-site mutation identified in various pests and disease vectors alters the voltage gated sodium channel (vgsc) gene (often referred to as knockdown resistance or kdr) to confer resistance to commonly used insecticides, pyrethroids and DDT. The ubiquity of kdr ...
Keywords: , ,

Meiotic Cas9 expression mediates gene conversion in the male and female mouse germline

A. J. Weitzel, H. A. Grunwald, C. Weber, R. Levina, V. M. Gantz, S. M. Hedrick, E. Bier and K. L. Cooper,  PLOS Biology,  19:e3001478. 2021.
Highly efficient gene conversion systems have the potential to facilitate the study of complex genetic traits using laboratory mice and, if implemented as a “gene drive,” to limit loss of biodiversity and disease transmission caused by wild rodent populations. We previously ...
Keywords: , ,

Scientists Used CRISPR Gene Editing to Choose the Sex of Mouse Pups

S. Fan,  Singuarity Hub,  2021.
“Do you want a boy or a girl?” can be an awkward question.But in certain circles, it’s a question that’s asked every day. Take agriculture. In a perfect world, most cows would only birth females. Chicks would grow up to be all hens. “Sexing” a farm animal when ...
Keywords: , ,

Exploiting a Y chromosome-linked Cas9 for sex selection and gene drive

S. Gamez, D. Chaverra-Rodriguez, A. Buchman, N. P. Kandul, S. C. Mendez-Sanchez, J. B. Bennett, C. H. Sánchez, T. Yang, I. Antoshechkin, J. E. Duque, P. A. Papathanos, J. M. Marshall and O. S. Akbari,  Nature Communications,  7202. 2021.
CRISPR-based genetic engineering tools aimed to bias sex ratios, or drive effector genes into animal populations, often integrate the transgenes into autosomal chromosomes. However, in species with heterogametic sex chromsomes (e.g. XY, ZW), sex linkage of endonucleases could be ...
Keywords: , ,

Genomic insertion locus and Cas9 expression in the germline affect CRISPR/Cas9-based gene drive performance in the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti

W. R. Reid, J. Lin, A. E. Williams, R. Juncu, K. E. Olson and A. W. E. Franz,  bioRxiv,  2021.12.08.471839. 2021.
The yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti is a major vector of arthropod-borne viruses, including dengue, chikungunya, and Zika. A novel approach to mitigate arboviral infections is to generate mosquitoes refractory to infection by overexpressing antiviral effector molecules. Such ...
Keywords: , ,

Gene editing used to create all-male or all-female litters of mice

J. Goodyer,  Science Focus,  2021.
As males are unable to produce milk or lay eggs, the ability to breed cows and hens that produce all-female litters is likely to be high on most poultry and dairy farmers’ wish lists. Now, scientists at the Francis Crick Institute and the University of Kent have come a step ...
Keywords: , ,

Genetic conversion of a split-drive into a full-drive element

G. Terradas, J. B. Bennett, Z. Li, J. M. Marshall and E. Bier,  bioRxiv,  2021.12.05.471291. 2021.
Gene-drive systems offer an important new avenue for spreading beneficial traits into wild populations. Their core components, Cas9 and guide RNA (gRNA), can either be linked within a single cassette (full gene drive, fGD) or provided in two separate elements (split gene drive, ...
Keywords: , ,

Gene editing used to create all-male or all-female mice litters

A. Reis,  European Scientist,  2021.
Researchers from the Francis Crick Institute and the University of Kent used gene-editing technologies to create male-only and female-only mice litters, according to a study published in Nature Communications (1). The authors also suggested ways in which this method could be used ...
Keywords: , ,

Gene-editing used to create single sex mice litters

The Francis Crick Institute,  Phys Org,  2021.
Scientists at the Francis Crick Institute, in collaboration with University of Kent, have used gene editing technology to create female-only and male-only mice litters with 100% efficiency. This proof of principle study, published in Nature Communications today, demonstrates how ...
Keywords: , ,

Single-sex mice litters were created with 100% efficiency using gene editing.

R. Silman,  Brinkwire,  2021.
The Francis Crick Institute, in partnership with the University of Kent, has employed gene editing technology to construct 100% efficient female-only and male-only mouse litters. This proof-of-concept study, which was published today (Friday, December 3rd, 2021) in Nature ...
Keywords: , ,

Lab animals: Gene-editing technology is used to create female-only and male-only mice litters

todayuknews,  Today UK News,  2021.
Single-sex litters of mice — comprising only either female or male pups — have been produced by means of so-called CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology. The technique, developed by experts at the Francis Crick Institute and the University of Kent, works by inactivating embryos ...
Keywords: , ,

Gene editing produces all-male or all-female litters of mice

E. Pennisi,  Science,  2021.
In some farmers’ ideal world, cows would birth only females, sows would bear no boars, and chicks would all grow up to be hens. Such sex ratios would stop them from killing millions of male animals, which don’t produce eggs or milk. Now, scientists are a step closer to this ...
Keywords: , ,

CRISPR-Cas9 effectors facilitate generation of single-sex litters and sex-specific phenotypes

C. Douglas, V. Maciulyte, J. Zohren, D. M. Snell, S. K. Mahadevaiah, O. A. Ojarikre, P. J. I. Ellis and J. M. A. Turner,  Nature Communications,  12:6926. 2021.
Animals are essential genetic tools in scientific research and global resources in agriculture. In both arenas, a single sex is often required in surplus. The ethical and financial burden of producing and culling animals of the undesired sex is considerable. Using the mouse as a ...
Keywords: , ,

CRISPR gene-drive systems based on Cas9 nickases promote super-Mendelian inheritance in Drosophila

V. Lopez del Amo, S. Sanz Juste and V. M. Gantz,  bioRxiv,  2021.12.01.470847. 2021.
CRISPR-based gene drive systems can be used to modify entire wild populations due to their ability to bias their own inheritance towards super-Mendelian rates (>100%). Current gene drives contain a Cas9 and a gRNA gene inserted at the location targeted by the gRNA. These ...
Keywords: , ,

Applying functional genomics to the study of lamprey development and sea lamprey population control

J. R. York, R. E. Thresher and D. W. McCauley,  Journal of Great Lakes Research,  47:S639-S649. 2021.
Lampreys are one of the few survivors of an ancient lineage of jawless vertebrates and have become an important study organism in numerous disciplines in the biological sciences, including evolutionary biology, embryology, ecology, physiology and biomedicine. At the same time, ...
Keywords: , ,

Temperature-Inducible Precision-Guided Sterile Insect Technique

N. P. Kandul, J. R. Liu and O. S. Akbari,  CRISPR Journal,  14. 2021.
Releases of sterile males are the gold standard for many insect population control programs, and precise sex sorting to remove females prior to male releases is essential to the success of these operations. To advance traditional methods for scaling the generation of sterile ...
Keywords: , ,

Modeling the efficacy of CRISPR gene drive for schistosomiasis control

R. E. Grewelle, J. Perez-Saez, J. Tycko, E. K. O. Namigai, C. G. Rickards and G. A. De Leo,  bioRxiv,  2021.10.29.466423. 2021.
CRISPR gene drives could revolutionize the control of infectious diseases by accelerating the spread of engineered traits that limit parasite transmission in wild populations. While much effort has been spent developing gene drives in mosquitoes, gene drive technology in molluscs ...
Keywords: , ,

Genome Editing Tools and Gene Drives: A Brief Overview (1st ed.).

R. Mudziwapasi, R. Chekera, C. Z. Ncube, I. Shoko, B. Ncube, T. Moyo, J. G. Chimbo, J. Dube, F. F. Mashiri, M. A. Mubani, D. Maruta, C. Chimbo, M. Masuku, R. Shoko, R. P. Nyamusamba and F. N. Jomane,  CRC Press,  2021.
Genome-editing methods are becoming routine tools for molecular and cell biologists. Such tools include ZFNs, CRISPR, megaTALs and TALENs. These tools are revolutionizing the creation of precisely manipulated genomes to modify the characteristics of organisms or cells. ...
Keywords: , ,

Modeling homing suppression gene drive in haplodiploid organisms

Y. Liu and J. Champer,  bioRxiv,  2021.10.12.464047. 2021.
Gene drives have shown great promise for suppression of pest populations. These engineered alleles can function by a variety of mechanisms, but the most common is the CRISPR homing drive, which converts wild-type alleles to drive alleles in the germline of heterozygotes. Some ...
Keywords: , ,

Towards CRISPR/Cas9-based gene drive in the diamondback moth Plutella xylostella

X. Xu, T. Harvey-Samuel, H. Siddiqui, J. Ang, M. A. E. Anderson, C. Reitmayer, E. Lovett, P. T. Leftwich, M. You and L. Alphey,  bioRxiv,  2021.10.05.462963. 2021.
Promising to provide powerful genetic control tools, gene drives have been constructed in multiple dipterans, yeast and mice, for the purposes of population elimination or modification. However, it remains unclear whether these techniques can be applied to lepidopterans. Here, we ...
Keywords: , ,

Resistance to a CRISPR-based gene drive at an evolutionarily conserved site is revealed by mimicking genotype fixation

S. Fuchs, W. T. Garrood, A. Beber, A. Hammond, R. Galizi, M. Gribble, G. Morselli, T.-Y. J. Hui, K. Willis, N. Kranjc, A. Burt, A. Crisanti and T. Nolan,  PLOS Genetics,  17. 2021.
Author summary Gene drives have the potential to be applied as a novel control strategy of disease-transmitting mosquitoes, by spreading genetic traits that suppress or modify the target population. Many gene drive elements work by recognising and cutting a specific target ...
Keywords: , ,

Scientists use gene editing tool to target mosquito-spread disease

Medical Research Council,  Phys Org,  2021.
Advances in genome editing have allowed the development of genetic insect control methods, which could be highly effective and are species-specific. The results have been published in Scientific Reports. Scientists showed that a method involving a gene editing tool called ...
Keywords: , ,

Mosquitoes Sterilized by CRISPR Powered Precision System

A. A. Sarkar,  Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News,  2021.
Each year millions around the world are infected by dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses. The principal culprit behind the transmission of these deadly diseases is the mosquito vector, Aedes aegypti. Conventional methods of pest control have so far fallen short. To curb the ...
Keywords: , ,

New precision-guided sterile insect technique designed to control disease-spreading mosquitoes

E. Henderson,  News Medical Life Sciences,  2021.
Leveraging advancements in CRISPR-based genetic engineering, researchers at the University of California San Diego have created a new system that restrains populations of mosquitoes that infect millions each year with debilitating diseases. The new precision-guided sterile ...
Keywords: , ,

Genetic engineering tech promises to sterilize disease-spreading mosquitoes

B. Hays,  UPI,  2021.
Inspired by improvements in CRISPR-based genetic engineering, scientists have developed a more precise insect sterilization system to curtail, or even eliminate, disease-spreading Aedes aegypti mosquito populations. The so-called "precision-guided sterile insect technique," or ...
Keywords: , ,

Genetic Engineering Technology Promises To Sterilize Disease-Spreading Mosquito Populations

D. Gyllhem,  VIGOURTIMES,  2021.
Inspired by improvements in CRISPR-based genetic engineering, scientists have developed a more precise insect sterilization system to curtail, or even eliminate, disease-spreading Aedes aegypti mosquito populations. The so-called “precision-guided sterile insect technique,” ...
Keywords: , ,

New Technology Designed to Genetically Control Disease-spreading Mosquitoes

M. Aguilera,  UC San Diego News Center,  2021.
Leveraging advancements in CRISPR-based genetic engineering, researchers at the University of California San Diego have created a new system that restrains populations of mosquitoes that infect millions each year with debilitating diseases. An illustration by study coauthor ...
Keywords: , ,

Suppressing mosquito populations with precision guided sterile males

M. Li, T. Yang, M. Bui, S. Gamez, T. Wise, N. P. Kandul, J. Liu, L. Alcantara, H. Lee, J. R. Edula, R. Raban, Y. Zhan, Y. Wang, N. DeBeaubien, J. Chen, H. M. Sánchez C, J. B. Bennett, I. Antoshechkin, C. Montell, J. M. Marshall and O. S. Akbari,  Nature Communications,  12:5374. 2021.
The mosquito Aedes aegypti is the principal vector for arboviruses including dengue/yellow fever, chikungunya, and Zika virus, infecting hundreds of millions of people annually. Unfortunately, traditional control methodologies are insufficient, so innovative control methods are ...
Keywords: , ,

Gene drive escape from resistance depends on mechanism and ecology

F. Cook, J. J. Bull and R. Gomulkiewicz,  bioRxiv,  2021.08.30.458221. 2021.
Gene drives can potentially be used to suppress pest populations, and the advent of CRISPR technology has made it feasible to engineer them in many species, especially insects. What remains largely unknown for implementations is whether anti-drive resistance will evolve to block ...
Keywords: , ,

Versatile Applications of the CRISPR/Cas Toolkit in Plant Pathology and Disease Management

M. S. Wheatley and Y. N. Yang,  Phytopathology,  111:1080-1090. 2021.
New tools and advanced technologies have played key roles in facilitating basic research in plant pathology and practical approaches for disease management and crop health. Recently. the CRISPR/Cas (clustered regularly interspersed short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated) ...
Keywords: , ,

Cas9-Mediated Gene-Editing in the Black-Legged Tick, Ixodes Scapularis, by Embryo Injection and ReMOT Control.

A. a. P. Sharma, Michael N. and Reyes, Jeremiah B. and Chana, Randeep and Yim, Won C. and Heu, Chan C. and Kim, Donghun and Chaverra-Rodriguez, Duverney and Rasgon, Jason L. and Harrell, Robert A. and Nuss, Andrew B. and Gulia-Nuss, Monika,,  Cell Reports,  2021.
Despite their capacity to acquire and pass on an array of debilitating pathogens, research on ticks has lagged behind other arthropod vectors, such as mosquitoes, largely because of a lack of genetic and molecular tools. CRISPR-Cas9 is transforming non-model organism research; ...
Keywords: , ,

Gene drives gaining speed

E. Bier,  Nature Reviews Genetics,  2021.
Gene drives are selfish genetic elements that are transmitted to progeny at super-Mendelian (>50%) frequencies. Recently developed CRISPR–Cas9-based gene-drive systems are highly efficient in laboratory settings, offering the potential to reduce the prevalence of vector-borne ...
Keywords: , ,

The Promise of Genetics and Genomics for Improving Invasive Mammal Management on Islands

B. T. Burgess, R. L. Irvine, G. R. Howald and M. A. Russello,  Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution,  9. 2021.
Invasive species are major contributors to global biodiversity decline. Invasive mammalian species (IMS), in particular, have profound negative effects in island systems that contain disproportionally high levels of species richness and endemism. The eradication and control of ...
Keywords: , ,

Resistance to a CRISPR-based gene drive at an evolutionarily conserved site is revealed by mimicking genotype fixation

S. Fuchs, W. Garrood, A. Beber, A. Hammond, R. Galizi, M. Gribble, G. Morselli, T.-Y. Hui, K. Willis, N. Kranjc, A. Burt, T. Nolan and A. Crisanti,  bioRxiv,  2021.
CRISPR-based homing gene drives can be designed to disrupt essential genes whilst biasing their own inheritance, leading to suppression of mosquito populations in the laboratory. This class of gene drives relies on CRISPR-Cas9 cleavage of a target sequence and copying ...
Keywords: , ,

CRISPR/Cas-9 mediated knock-in by homology dependent repair in the West Nile Virus vector Culex quinquefasciatus Say

D.-K. Purusothaman, L. Shackleford, M. A. E. Anderson, T. Harvey-Samuel and L. Alphey,  Scientific Reports,  11:14964. 2021.
Culex quinquefasciatus Say is a mosquito distributed in both tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It is a night-active, opportunistic blood-feeder and vectors many animal and human diseases, including West Nile Virus and avian malaria. Current vector control methods ...
Keywords: , ,

A Sterile Solution: How Crispr Could Protect Wild Salmon

L. Abend,  UNDARK,  2021.
In an attempt to prevent escaped fish from interbreeding with their wild counterparts and threatening the latter’s genetic diversity, molecular biologist Anna Wargelius and her team at the Institute of Marine Research in Norway have spent years working on ways to induce ...
Keywords: , ,

Scientists develop new technology that gives greater control for managing malaria mosquitoes

Keele University,  Phy Org,  2021.
Researchers including a Keele University scientist have engineered an innovative approach to disable highly powerful genetic devices that control harmful insect populations. Dr. Roberto Galizi from Keele's School of Life Sciences was part of a research team that previously ...
Keywords: , ,

A genetically encoded anti-CRISPR protein constrains gene drive spread and prevents population suppression

C. Taxiarchi, A. Beaghton, N. I. Don, K. Kyrou, M. Gribble, D. Shittu, S. P. Collins, C. L. Beisel, R. Galizi and A. Crisanti,  Nature Communications,  12:3977. 2021.
CRISPR-based gene drives offer promising means to reduce the burden of pests and vector-borne diseases. These techniques consist of releasing genetically modified organisms carrying CRISPR-Cas nucleases designed to bias their inheritance and rapidly propagate desired ...
Keywords: , ,

UC San Diego scientists develop the first CRISPR/Cas9-based gene drive in plants

M. Aguilera,  UC San Diego News Center,  2021.
With a goal of breeding resilient crops that are better able to withstand drought and disease, University of California San Diego scientists have developed the first CRISPR-Cas9-based gene drive in plants. While gene drive technology has been developed in insects to help stop the ...
Keywords: , ,

Using gene drives to control malaria

A. Fell,  Daily News,  2021.
A group of UC scientists led by Greg Lanzaro, professor of pathology, microbiology and immunology in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, recently completed an analysis of a strategy aimed at eliminating malaria from Africa using genetically engineered mosquitoes. ...
Keywords: , ,

Selective inheritance of target genes from only one parent of sexually reproduced F1 progeny in Arabidopsis

T. Zhang, M. Mudgett, R. Rambabu, B. Abramson, X. Dai, T. P. Michael and Y. Zhao,  Nature Communications,  12:3854. 2021.
Sexual reproduction constrains progeny to inherit allelic genes from both parents. Selective acquisition of target genes from only one parent in the F1 generation of plants has many potential applications including the elimination of undesired alleles and acceleration of trait ...
Keywords: , ,

Sustainable Food Production: The Contribution of Genome Editing in Livestock

A. Menchaca,  Sustainability,  13. 2021.
This article is focused on the scope and perspectives for the application of this technology, which includes improving production traits, enhancing animal welfare through adaptation and resilience, conferring resistance to infectious diseases, and suppressing pests and invasive ...
Keywords: , ,

Population modification strategies for malaria vector control are uniquely resilient to observed levels of gene drive resistance alleles

G. C. Lanzaro, H. M. Sánchez C, T. C. Collier, J. M. Marshall and A. A. James,  BioEssays,  2021.
Cas9/guide RNA (gRNA)-based gene drive systems are expected to play a transformative role in malaria elimination efforts., whether through population modification, in which the drive system contains parasite-refractory genes, or population suppression, in which the drive system ...
Keywords: , ,

Temperature-Inducible Precision Guided Sterile Insect Technique

N. P. Kandul, J. Liu and O. S. Akbari,  bioRxiv,  2021.06.14.448312. 2021.
Releases of sterile males are the gold standard for many insect population control programs, and precise sex sorting to remove females prior to male releases is essential to the success of these operations. To advance traditional methods for scaling the generation of sterile ...
Keywords: , ,

New CRISPR Tools Can Help Contain Mosquito Disease Transmission

Anonymous,  labcompare,  2021.
Scientists have now developed several genetic editing tools that help pave the way to an eventual gene drive designed to stop Culex mosquitoes from spreading disease. As detailed in the journal Nature Communications, Xuechun Feng, Valentino Gantz and their colleagues at Harvard ...
Keywords: , ,

Analysis of off-target effects in CRISPR-based gene drives in the human malaria mosquito

W. T. Garrood, N. Kranjc, K. Petri, D. Y. Kim, J. A. Guo, A. M. Hammond, I. Morianou, V. Pattanayak, J. K. Joung, A. Crisanti and A. Simoni,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,  118:e2004838117. 2021.
CRISPR-Cas9 nuclease-based gene drives have been developed toward the aim of control of the human malaria vector Anopheles gambiae. Gene drives are based on an active source of Cas9 nuclease in the germline that promotes super-Mendelian inheritance of the transgene by ...
Keywords: , ,

Researchers Create New CRISPR Tools to Help Contain Mosquito Disease Transmission

M. Aguilera,  UC San Diego News Center,  2021.
Much less genetic engineering has been devoted to Culex genus mosquitoes, which spread devastating afflictions stemming from West Nile virus—the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States—as well as other viruses such as the Japanese encephalitis ...
Keywords: , ,

New CRISPR tools help contain mosquito disease transmission: Genetics toolkit targets less researched Culex mosquitoes, which transmit West Nile virus and avian malaria.

University of California - San Diego,  ScienceDaily,  2021.
Since the onset of the CRISPR genetic editing revolution, scientists have been working to leverage the technology in the development of gene drives that target pathogen-spreading mosquitoes such as Anopheles and Aedes species, which spread malaria, dengue and other ...
Keywords: , ,

Optimized CRISPR tools and site-directed transgenesis towards gene drive development in Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes

X. Feng, V. López Del Amo, E. Mameli, M. Lee, A. L. Bishop, N. Perrimon and V. M. Gantz,  Nature Communications,  12:2960. 2021.
Culex mosquitoes are a global vector for multiple human and animal diseases, including West Nile virus, lymphatic filariasis, and avian malaria, posing a constant threat to public health, livestock, companion animals, and endangered birds. While rising insecticide resistance has ...
Keywords: , ,

Targeting conserved sequences circumvents the evolution of resistance in a viral gene drive against human cytomegalovirus

M. Walter, R. Perrone and E. Verdin,  Journal of virology,  2021.
Here, we analyze in cell culture experiments the evolution of resistance in a viral gene drive against human cytomegalovirus. We report that, after an initial invasion of the wildtype population, a drive-resistant population is positively selected over time and outcompetes gene ...
Keywords: , ,

Genetic Technologies for Sustainable Management of Insect Pests and Disease Vectors

S. Grilli, R. Galizi and C. Taxiarchi,  Sustainability,  13. 2021.
Recent advancements in genetic and genome editing research, augmented by the discovery of new molecular tools such as CRISPR, have revolutionised the field of genetic engineering by enabling precise site-specific genome modifications with unprecedented ease. These technologies ...
Keywords: , ,

Genetic Manipulation of Ticks: A Paradigm Shift in Tick and Tick-Borne Diseases Research

A. Nuss, A. Sharma and M. Gulia-Nuss,  Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology,  11:7. 2021.
Ticks are obligate hematophagous arthropods that are distributed worldwide and are one of the most important vectors of pathogens affecting humans and animals. Despite the growing burden of tick-borne diseases, research on ticks has lagged behind other arthropod vectors, such as ...
Keywords: , ,

Systematic identification of plausible pathways to potential harm via problem formulation for investigational releases of a population suppression gene drive to control the human malaria vector Anopheles gambiae in West Africa

J. B. Connolly, J. D. Mumford, S. Fuchs, G. Turner, C. Beech, A. R. North and A. Burt,  Malaria Journal,  20:170. 2021.
Population suppression gene drive has been proposed as a strategy for malaria vector control. A CRISPR-Cas9-based transgene homing at the doublesex locus (dsxFCRISPRh) has recently been shown to increase rapidly in frequency in, and suppress, caged laboratory populations of the ...
Keywords: , ,

Driving to Safety: CRISPR-Based Genetic Approaches to Reducing Antibiotic Resistance

E. Bier and V. Nizet,  Trends in Genetics,  2021.
The complex and challenging problem of reducing antibiotic resistance (AR) requires a network of both societal and science-based solutions to preserve the most lifesaving pharmaceutical intervention known to medicine. In addition to developing new classes of antibiotics, it is ...
Keywords: , ,

Ultra-conserved sequences in the genomes of highly diverse Anopheles mosquitoes, with implications for malaria vector control

S. M. O'Loughlin, A. J. Forster, S. Fuchs, T. Dottorini, T. Nolan, A. Crisanti and A. Burt,  G3-Genes Genomes Genetics,  2021.
Here we search for conserved sequences of 18bp and over in an alignment of 21 Anopheles genomes, spanning an evolutionary timescale of 100 million years, and characterise the resulting sequences according to their location and function. Over 8000 ultra-conserved elements were ...
Keywords: , ,

Meiotic Cas9 expression mediates genotype conversion in the male and female mouse germline.

A. J. Weitzel, H. A. Grunwald, R. Levina, V. M. Gantz, S. M. Hedrick, E. Bier and K. L. Cooper,  2021.03.16.435716,  2021.
We previously showed that such a system of genotype conversion from heterozygous to homozygous after a sequence targeted CRISPR/Cas9 double strand DNA break is feasible in the female mouse germline. In the male germline, however, all double strand breaks were instead repaired by ...
Keywords: , ,

Evading resistance to gene drives

R. Gomulkiewicz, M. L. Thies and J. J. Bull,  Genetics,  217. 2021.
Here, we develop mathematical and computational models to identify conditions under which suppression drives will evade resistance, even if resistance is present initially. Previous models assumed resistance is allelic to the drive. We relax this assumption and show that linkage ...
Keywords: , ,

Genetically Encoded CRISPR components Yield Efficient Gene Editing in the Invasive Pest, Drosophila suzukii

N. P. Kandul, E. J. Belikoff, J. Liu, A. Buchman, F. Li, A. Yamamoto, T. Yang, I. Shriner, M. J. Scott and O. Akbari,  bioRxiv,  2021.03.15.435483. 2021.
Here we have developed transgenic strains that encode three different terminators and four different promoters to express Cas9 in both the soma and/or germline of SWD. The Cas9 lines were evaluated through genetic crossing to transgenic lines that encode single guide RNAs ...
Keywords: , ,

Gene Drives Built to Follow More Stringent Rules of the Road

Anonymous,  Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News,  2021.
Gene drives, or systems that accelerate the spread of desirable genetic traits into a population, may be built to achieve specific levels of spread when released into the wild. By exerting control over the degree of spread, those who unleash gene drives may realize the benefits ...
Keywords: , ,

New gene-drive technologies can help control crop pests

Anonymous,  AZO Life Sciences,  2021.
The supposed gene drives, which exploit CRISPR technology to affect genetic inheritance, show the potential to quickly spread particular genetic traits across the populations of a specified species. For instance, gene-drive technologies used on insects are being developed to stop ...
Keywords: , ,

New ‘Split-drive’ System Puts Scientists in the (Gene) Driver Seat

M. Aguilera,  UC San Diego News Center,  2021.
Gene-drive technologies applied in insects, for example, are being designed to halt the spread of devastating diseases such as malaria and dengue by preventing mosquito hosts from becoming infected. In agricultural fields, gene-drives are being developed to help control or ...
Keywords: , ,

A confinable home and rescue gene drive for population modification

N. P. Kandul, J. Liu, J. B. Bennett, J. M. Marshall and O. S. Akbari,  eLife,  10:e65939. 2021.
Homing based gene drives, engineered using CRISPR/Cas9, have been proposed to spread desirable genes throughout populations. However, invasion of such drives can be hindered by the accumulation of resistant alleles. To limit this obstacle, we engineer a confinable population ...
Keywords: , ,

Developing GDi-CRISPR System for Multi-copy Integration in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Z.-X. Zhang, Y.-Z. Wang, Y.-S. Xu, X.-M. Sun and H. Huang,  Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology,  2021.
This study aims to develop a low-cost and easy-to-use multi-copy integration tool in S. cerevisiae. Firstly, twenty-one Cas proteins from different microorganisms were tested in S. cerevisiae to find the functional Cas proteins with optimal cleavage ability. Results showed that ...
Keywords: , ,

Designing gene drives to limit spillover to non-target populations

G. Greenbaum, M. W. Feldman, N. A. Rosenberg and J. Kim,  PLOS Genetics,  17:e1009278. 2021.
We develop mathematical models of gene-drive dynamics that incorporate migration between a target and non-target populations to investigate the possibility of effectively applying a gene drive in the target population while limiting its spillovers to the non-target population ...
Keywords: , ,

Population genomics of invasive rodents on islands: Genetic consequences of colonization and prospects for localized synthetic gene drive

K. P. Oh, A. B. Shiels, L. Shiels, D. V. Blondel, K. J. Campbell, J. R. Saah, A. L. Lloyd, P. Q. Thomas, F. Gould, Z. Abdo, J. R. Godwin and A. J. Piaggio,  Evolutionary Applications,  2021.
Here we used pooled whole-genome sequencing of invasive mouse (Mus musculus) populations on four islands along with paired putative source populations to test genetic predictions of island colonization and characterize locally fixed Cas9 genomic targets. Patterns of variation ...
Keywords: , ,

Emergent challenges for CRISPR: biosafety, biosecurity, patenting, and regulatory issues

Braddick, D. , and Ramarohetra, R. F.,  Genome Engineering Via Crispr-Cas9 System,  2021.
The recent advancements of CRISPR-Cas technologies have transformed this simple and efficient gene editing technique into an extraordinarily powerful tool. The most anticipated applications could create novel therapeutics against mankind's most serious afflictions and help ...
Keywords: , ,

Scientifically framed gene drive communication perceived as credible but riskier

E. A. MacDonald, E. D. Edwards, J. Balanovic and F. Medvecky,  People and Nature,  2021.
Framing is a communication technique in which certain beliefs or values are emphasized that resonate with the target audience. Framing may increase how much people objectively think about new information and update their opinions; framing may mitigate emo
Keywords: , ,

Optimized CRISPR tools and site-directed transgenesis in Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes for gene drive development

X. Feng, V. Lopez Del Amo, E. Mameli, M. Lee, A. L. Bishop, N. Perrimon and V. M. Gantz,  bioRxiv,  2021.02.10.430702. 2021.
Here, we developed a Culex-specific Cas9/gRNA expression toolkit and used site-directed homology-based transgenesis to generate and validate a Culex quinquefasciatus Cas9-expressing line. We showed that gRNA scaffold variants improve transgenesis efficiency in both Culex and ...
Keywords: , ,

A Code of Ethics for Gene Drive Research

G. J. Annas, C. L. Beisel, K. Clement, A. Crisanti, S. Francis, M. Galardini, R. Galizi, J. Grünewald, G. Immobile, A. S. Khalil, R. Müller, V. Pattanayak, K. Petri, L. Paul, L. Pinello, A. Simoni, C. Taxiarchi and J. K. Joung,  The CRISPR Journal,  2021.
A code of ethics can be a useful tool for all parties involved in the development and regulation of gene drives and can be used to help ensure that a balanced analysis of risks, benefits, and values is taken into consideration for the interest of society and humanity. We have ...
Keywords: , ,

Assisting Evolution: How Far Should We Go to Help Species Adapt?

E. Kolbert,  YaleEnvironment360,  2021.
It was a hot, intensely blue day in the Australian Outback, about 350 miles north of Adelaide. I was tagging along with Moseby as she checked the batteries on the motion-sensitive cameras that dot Arid Recovery, an ecosystem restoration project she and her husband launched in ...
Keywords: , ,

Should we dim the sun? Will we even have a choice

E. Klein,  New York Times,  2021.
“Under a White Sky” is going to be on my best books of 2021 list. It’s a wonderful work. Kolbert is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Sixth Extinction,” which you may have read. She is a staff writer at The New Yorker and just one of the great science ...
Keywords: , ,

In Our Image: The Ethics of CRISPR Genome Editing

J. C. Eissenberg,  Biomolecular Concepts,  12:1-7. 2021.
Here, I discuss the ethics surrounding the transformative CRISPR/Cas9mediated genome editing technology in the contexts of human genome editing to eradicate genetic disease and of gene drive technology to eradicate animal vectors of human disease.
Keywords: , ,

CRISPR and the splice to survive: New gene-editing technology could be used to save species from extinction—or to eliminate them.

E. Kolbert,  New Yorker,  2021.
About a year ago, not long before the pandemic began, I paid a visit to the center, which is an hour southwest of Melbourne. The draw was an experiment on a species of giant toad known familiarly as the cane toad. The toad was introduced to Australia as an agent of pest control, ...
Keywords: , ,

Targeting evolutionary conserved sequences circumvents the evolution of resistance in a viral gene drive against human cytomegalovirus

M. Walter, R. Perrone and E. Verdin,  bioRxiv,  2021.01.08.425902. 2021.
Here, we analyze in cell culture experiments the evolution of resistance in a gene drive against human cytomegalovirus. We report that after an initial invasion of the wildtype population, a drive-resistant population is positively selected over time and outcompetes gene drive ...
Keywords: , ,

Control of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes using gene drives

T. Nolan,  Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences,  376:20190803. 2020.
In this article, I will discuss the relative merits of this type of gene drive, as well as barriers to its technical development and to its deployment in the field as malaria control. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Novel control strategies for mosquito-borne ...
Keywords: , ,

Vector dynamics influence spatially imperfect genetic interventions against disease

M. K. Yuksel, C. H. Remien, B. Karki, J. J. Bull and S. M. Krone,  Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health,  9:1-10. 2020.
In spatially structured populations, imperfect coverage of the vector will leave pockets in which the parasite may persist. Movement by humans may disrupt this local persistence and facilitate eradication when these pockets are small, spreading parasite reproduction outside ...
Keywords: , ,

New GE unintentionally leaves traces in cells

C. Then,  Testbiotech,  2020.
A new scientific publication shows that CRISPR/Cas gene scissor applications in animals unintentionally leave traces. The findings are not related to unintended changes in the DNA, which have often been described, but to gene regulation, i.e. epigenetics. The effects are ...
Keywords: , ,

New insect species made via genetic engineering

L. Leffer,  SCIENCELINE,  2020.
A biotech fast-forward button for evolution is on the horizon. Researchers say they have used a novel genetic engineering method to create several new species of fruit fly in the lab for the first time — an achievement which might help put a future without malaria and other ...
Keywords: , ,

A CRISPR endonuclease gene drive reveals two distinct mechanisms of inheritance bias

S. A. N. Verkuijl, E. González, J. X. D. Ang, M. Li, N. P. Kandul, M. Anderson, O. S. Akbari, M. Bonsall and L. Alphey,  bioRxiv,  2020.12.15.421271. 2020.
In this study, we report the functioning of sds3, bgcn, and nup50 expressed Cas9 in an Aedes aegypti homing split drive system targeting the white gene. We report their inheritance biasing capability, propensity for maternal deposition, and zygotic/somatic expression. ...
Keywords: , ,

The Antiviral Small-Interfering RNA Pathway Induces Zika Virus Resistance in Transgenic Aedes aegypti

A. E. Williams, I. Sanchez-Vargas, W. R. Reid, J. Y. Lin, A. W. E. Franz and K. E. Olson,  Viruses,  12:18. 2020.
We used CRISPR/Cas9 to re-target a previously characterized locus (Chr2:321382225) and engineered mosquitoes expressing an inverted repeat (IR) dsRNA against the NS3/4A region of the ZIKV genome. Small RNA analysis revealed that the IR effector triggered the mosquito's siRNA ...
Keywords: , ,

Evading resistance to gene drives

R. Gomulkiewicz, M. L. Thies and J. J. Bull,  bioRxiv,  2020.08.27.270611. 2020.
Our analyses suggest that among gene drives that cause moderate suppression, toxin-antidote systems are less apt to select for resistance than homing drives. Single drives of moderate effect might cause only moderate population suppression, but multiple drives (perhaps delivered ...
Keywords: , ,

Design and analysis of CRISPR-based underdominance toxin-antidote gene drives

J. Champer, S. E. Champer, I. K. Kim, A. G. Clark and P. W. Messer,  Evolutionary Applications,  18. 2020.
We model drives which target essential genes that are either haplosufficient or haplolethal, using nuclease promoters with expression restricted to the germline, promoters that additionally result in cleavage activity in the early embryo from maternal deposition, and promoters ...
Keywords: , ,

Mosquito population modification: the drive to malaria eradication

A. A. James,  BugBitten BMC,  2020.
We have had considerable success in the past demonstrating that we can use modern molecular biological and insect transgenesis tools to make genes that prevent mosquitoes from passing on parasites (see 1 and 2). We have focused most recently on laboratory experiments to find ways ...
Keywords: , ,

Gene drive blocks malaria transmission in mosquitoes

labonline,  labonline,  2020.
Employing a strategy known as ‘population modification’, which involves using a CRISPR-Cas9 gene drive system to introduce genes preventing parasite transmission into mosquito chromosomes, University of California (UC) researchers have made a major advance in the use of ...
Keywords: , ,

Evading evolution of resistance to gene drives

R. Gomulkiewicz, M. L. Thies and J. J. Bull,  bioRxiv,  2020.08.27.270611. 2020.
Our analyses suggest that among gene drives that cause moderate suppression, toxin-antidote systems are less apt to select for resistance than homing drives. Single drives of this type would achieve only partial population suppression, but multiple drives (perhaps delivered ...
Keywords: , ,

A gene-drive rescue system for the modification of malaria mosquito populations

A. Adolfi,  Nature Research Bioengineering Community,  2020.
Mosquito populations can now be reliably modified using 1) antimalarial molecules that block parasite development and 2) a CRISPR-based gene drive system that mediates their rapid spreading across the vector population.
Keywords: , ,

UC researchers pioneer more effective method of blocking malaria transmission in mosquitoes

UCI,  UCI News,  2020.
University of California, Irvine postdoctoral researcher Adriana Adolfi, in collaboration with colleagues at UCI, UC Berkeley and UC San Diego, followed up on the group’s pioneering effort to develop CRISPR-based gene drive systems for making mosquito vectors resistant to ...
Keywords: , ,

Efficient population modification gene-drive rescue system in the malaria mosquito Anopheles stephensi

A. Adolfi, V. M. Gantz, N. Jasinskiene, H.-F. Lee, K. Hwang, G. Terradas, E. A. Bulger, A. Ramaiah, J. B. Bennett, J. J. Emerson, J. M. Marshall, E. Bier and A. A. James,  Nature Communications,  11:5553. 2020.
Here, we develop a recoded gene-drive rescue system for population modification of the malaria vector, Anopheles stephensi, that relieves the load in females caused by integration of the drive into the kynurenine hydroxylase gene by rescuing its function. Non-functional resistant ...
Keywords: , ,

Gene Drive: The What, How, Why, and Whether We Should

N. Pazhayam,  The Pipettepen,  2020.
Under regular Mendelian inheritance, the probability of inheriting a particular allele from a heterozygous parent is 50% – this is because offspring can only inherit one or the other chromosome from each parent. However, gene drive is a technology that changes this probability ...
Keywords: , ,

WHO Refers to GM Mosquitoes as Beneficial Technology

ISAAA,  Crop Biotech Update,  2020.
The World Health Organization (WHO) released its official statement to clarify its stance on the evaluation and use of genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes and its use to control vector-borne diseases (VBD). WHO says it supports the investigation of all potentially beneficial ...
Keywords: , ,

Position of ARRIGE Scientific Committee on Gene Drive

ARRIGE Scientific Committee on Gene Drive,  ARRIGE Newsletter,  2020.
We are facing a change of paradigm that must lead us to be responsible for altered inheritance and the hybridization between artefacts, considered as natural or artificial, at the very moment when this division itself is blurred by the engineering capacity to act on mutations, ...
Keywords: , ,

Progress Toward Zygotic and Germline Gene Drives in Mice

C. Pfitzner, M. A. White, S. G. Piltz, M. Scherer, F. Adikusuma, J. N. Hughes and P. Q. Thomas,  The CRISPR Journal,  3:388-397. 2020.
Here, we investigated the efficiency of CRISPR-Cas9-based gene drives in Mus musculus by constructing "split drive" systems where gRNA expression occurs on a separate chromosome to Cas9, which is under the control of either a zygotic (CAG) or germline (Vasa) promoter.
Keywords: , ,

Engineered Gene Drives: State of Research Webinar Series by The GeneConvene Global Collaborative September-October 2020

David O'Brochta and Hector Quemada,  GeneConvene Global Collaborative,  2020.
A series of technical webinars on engineered gene drive technology research and development given by leading researchers in the field.
Keywords: , ,

Gene Drives Could Kill Mosquitoes And Suppress Herpesvirus Infections

A. Berezow,  American Council on Science and Health,  2020.
A team of researchers writing in the journal Nature Communications has shown that a gene drive can be used to suppress infection with cytomegalovirus, a type of herpesvirus.
Keywords: , ,

Inherently confinable split-drive systems in Drosophila

G. Terradas, A. B. Buchman, J. B. Bennett, I. Shriner, J. M. Marshall, O. S. Akbari and E. Bier,  bioRxiv,  2020.09.03.282079. 2020.
Here, we test split gene-drive (sGD) systems in Drosophila melanogaster that were inserted into essential genes required for viability (rab5, rab11, prosalpha2) or fertility (spo11). I
Keywords: , ,

Chromosome drives via CRISPR-Cas9 in yeast

H. Xu, M. Han, S. Zhou, B.-Z. Li, Y. Wu and Y.-J. Yuan,  Nature Communications,  11:4344. 2020.
Our results show that the entire Saccharomyces cerevisiae chromosome can be eliminated efficiently through only one double-strand break around the centromere via CRISPR-Cas9. As a proof-of-concept experiment of this CRISPR-Cas9 chromosome drive system, the synthetic yeast ...
Keywords: , ,

Evading evolution of resistance to gene drives

R. Gomulkiewicz, M. L. Thies and J. J. Bull,  bioRxiv,  2020.
Here we develop mathematical and computational models to identify conditions under which suppression drives will evade resistance, even if resistance is present initially.
Keywords: , ,

Next-generation gene drive for population modification of the malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles gambiae

R. Carballar-Lejarazú, C. Ogaugwu, T. Tushar, A. Kelsey, T. B. Pham, J. Murphy, H. Schmidt, Y. Lee, G. C. Lanzaro and A. A. James,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,  202010214. 2020.
We show here that the Cas9/guide RNA-based gene-drive components of a genetically-engineered malaria mosquito vector, Anopheles gambiae, achieve key target product profile requirements for efficacy and performance.
Keywords: , ,

A home and rescue gene drive forces its inheritance stably persisting in populations

N. P. Kandul, J. Liu, J. B. Bennett, J. M. Marshall and O. Akbari,  bioRxiv,  2020.08.21.261610. 2020.
We demonstrate that HomeR can achieve nearly ~100% transmission enabling it to persist at genotypic fixation in several multi-generational population cage experiments, underscoring its long term stability.
Keywords: , ,

Towards Responsive Eco-technology: The Development of a Male Sex-biased Mouse

W. Kamau,  Massachusetts Institute of Technology,  2020.
CRISPR-Cas systems have catalyzed the emergence of several synthetic population management strategies, like gene drives, for controlling pests and disease vectors. As these technologies garner greater visibility in both general and regulatory audiences, questions have arisen ...
Keywords: , ,

Modelling the suppression of a malaria vector using a CRISPR-Cas9 gene drive to reduce female fertility

A. R. North, A. Burt and H. C. J. Godfray,  BMC Biology,  18:98. 2020.
Gene drives based on CRISPR-Cas9 technology are increasingly being considered as tools for reducing the capacity of mosquito populations to transmit malaria, and one of the most promising options is driving endonuclease genes that reduce the fertility of female mosquitoes. Here, ...
Keywords: , ,

Meet Cosmo, the gene-edited Crispr calf

S. D. McClain,  Capital Press,  2020.
Cosmo was the grand finale of a series of experiments to create a line of genome-edited cattle tailored for the beef industry. He was designed to produce 75% male offspring.
Keywords: , ,

Can a population targeted by a CRISPR-based homing gene drive be rescued?

N. O. Rode, V. Courtier-Orgogozo and F. Débarre,  G3-Genes Genomes Genetics,  2020.
N. O. Rode, V. Courtier-Orgogozo and F. Débarre (2020). G3 doi: 10.1534/g3.120.401484 Developing countermeasures is important to control the spread of gene drives, should they result in unanticipated damages. One proposed countermeasure is the introduction of individuals ...
Keywords: , ,

The future of beef might be a sausage fest

N. Johnson,  grist,  2020.
N. Johnson. (2020) grist. A media report on the creation of a cow with a sex ratio altering genetic change expected to lead to 3/4 of the cow's offspring being males. This type of sex ratio distortion results in gene drive and is also being considered to help control populations ...
Keywords: , ,

Meet Cosmo the Frankenbull: Scientists genetically engineer a bull calf so that 75 per cent of its offspring will be male

J. Pinkstone,  Daily Mail,  2020.
J. Pinkstone (2020). Daily Mail. A media report on the creation of a cow with a sex ratio altering genetic change expected to lead to 3/4 of the cow's offspring being males. This type of sex ratio distortion results in gene drive and is also being considered to help control ...
Keywords: , ,

Meet the first genetically modified bull. Why did scientists change it

J. Kessler,  Free News,  2020.
J. Kessler (2020). Free News. UC Davis scientists have successfully introduced a bovine embryo, or the bovine SRY gene, which is responsible for the development of the male. This is the first demonstration of targeted gene insertion for large DNA sequences through embryo-mediated ...
Keywords: , ,

Genome Editing 2020: Ethics and Human Rights in Germline Editing in Humans and Gene Drives in Mosquitoes

G. J. Annas,  American Journal of Law and Medicine,  46:143-165. 2020.
G. J. Annas (2020). American Journal of Law and Medicine. doi: 10.1177/0098858820933492. I begin with a discussion of so far disastrously unsuccessful attempts to regulate germline editing in humans, including a summary of the first application of germline genome editing in ...
Keywords: , ,

Small-Molecule Control of Super-Mendelian Inheritance in Gene Drives

V. López Del Amo, B. S. Leger, K. J. Cox, S. Gill, A. L. Bishop, G. D. Scanlon, J. A. Walker, V. M. Gantz and A. Choudhary,  Cell Reports,  31:107841. 2020.
Summary Synthetic CRISPR-based gene-drive systems have tremendous potential in public health and agriculture, such as for fighting vector-borne diseases or suppressing crop pest populations. These elements can rapidly spread in a population by breaching the inheritance limit of ...
Keywords: , ,

Development of zygotic and germline gene drives in mice

C. Pfitzner, J. N. Hughes, M. A. White, M. Scherer, S. G. Piltz and P. Q. Thomas,  bioRxiv,  2020.
Here we investigated the efficiency of CRISPR/Cas9-based gene drives in Mus musculus by constructing "split drive" systems with Cas9 under the control of zygotic (CAG) or germline (Vasa) promoters.
Keywords: , ,

Simulation models from: Can CRISPER-mediated gene drive work in pest and beneficial haplodiploid species?

J. Li and B. Tabashnik,  Dryad,  2020.
Gene drives based on CRISPR/Cas9 have the potential to reduce the enormous harm inflicted by crop pests and insect vectors of human disease, as well as to bolster valued species. In contrast with extensive empirical and theoretical studies in diploid organisms, little is known ...
Keywords: , ,

Le forçage génétique (gène drive) et ses applications

V. Courtier-Orgogozo,  Bulletin de l'Académie Vétérinaire de France,  172:94-98. 2020.
Gene drive is a new genetic engineering technology that has been developed over the past five years and that allows genetic modifications to spread rapidly in natural populations. Potential applications are numerous, for public health issues, agriculture and conservation biology. ...
Keywords: , ,

Malaria mosquitoes eliminated in lab by creating all male populations

H. Dunning,  Imperial College London,  2020.
A team led by Imperial College London spread a genetic modification that distorts the sex ratio through a population of caged Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes using ‘gene drive’ technology.
Keywords: , ,

A male-biased sex-distorter gene drive for the human malaria vector Anopheles gambiae

A. Simoni, A. M. Hammond, A. K. Beaghton, R. Galizi, C. Taxiarchi, K. Kyrou, D. Meacci, M. Gribble, G. Morselli, A. Burt, T. Nolan and A. Crisanti,  Nature Biotechnology,  2020.
We report a male-biased sex-distorter gene drive (SDGD) in the human malaria vector Anopheles gambiae.
Keywords: , ,

Gene drive outcomes not determined by genetic variation – A Podcast

Thomas Locke,  Malaria Minute,  2020.
Gene drives are a system of genetic modification that use ‘molecular scissors’ to edit DNA sequences that self-perpetuate to ensure the rapid spread of mutation in a population. They offer new avenues for eradicating vector-borne diseases like malaria. They rely on the Cas9 ...
Keywords: , ,

Super-Mendelian inheritance mediated by CRISPR-Cas9 in the female mouse germline

H. A. Grunwald, V. M. Gantz, G. Poplawski, X.-r. S. Xu, E. Bier and K. L. Cooper,  TAGC 2020,  2020.
A gene drive biases the transmission of one of the two copies of a gene such that it is inherited more frequently than by random segregation. Highly efficient gene drive systems that have recently been developed in insects, which leverage the sequence-targeted DNA cleavage ...
Keywords: , ,

Gene drive and resilience through renewal with next generation Cleave and Rescue selfish genetic elements

G. Oberhofer, T. Ivy and B. A. Hay,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,  117:9013-9021. 2020.
Gene drive can spread beneficial traits through populations, but will never be a one-shot project in which one genetic element provides all desired modifications, for an indefinitely long time. Here, we show that gene drive-mediated population modification in Drosophila can be ...
Keywords: , ,

Can a population targeted by a CRISPR-based homing gene drive be rescued?

N. O. Rode, V. Courtier-Orgogozo and F. Débarre,  bioRxiv,  2020.03.17.995829. 2020.
CRISPR-based homing gene drive is a genetic control technique aiming to modify or eradicate natural populations through the release of individuals carrying an engineered piece of DNA that can be inherited by all their progeny. Developing countermeasures is important to control ...
Keywords: , ,

Computational and experimental performance of CRISPR homing gene drive strategies with multiplexed gRNAs

S. E. Champer, S. Y. Oh, C. Liu, Z. Wen, A. G. Clark, P. W. Messer and J. Champer,  Science Advances,  6:eaaz0525. 2020.
The rapid evolution of resistance alleles poses a major obstacle for genetic manipulation of populations with CRISPR homing gene drives. One proposed solution is using multiple guide RNAs (gRNAs), allowing a drive to function even if some resistant target sites are present. Here, ...
Keywords: , ,

Anti-CRISPR protein applications: natural brakes for CRISPR-Cas technologies

Marino, N. D., Pinilla-Redondo, R. , Csorgo, B., Bondy-Denomy, J.,  Nature Methods,  2020.
Clustered, regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated (Cas) genes, a diverse family of prokaryotic adaptive immune systems, have emerged as a biotechnological tool and therapeutic. The discovery of protein inhibitors of CRISPR-Cas systems, ...
Keywords: , ,

Population-level multiplexing: A promising strategy to manage the evolution of resistance against gene drives targeting a neutral locus

M. P. Edgington, T. Harvey-Samuel and L. Alphey,  Evolutionary Applications,  10. 2020.
CRISPR-based gene drives bias inheritance in their favour by inducing double-stranded breaks (DSBs) at wild-type homologous loci and using the drive transgene as a repair template-converting drive heterozygotes into homozygotes. Recent studies have shown that alternate ...
Keywords: , ,

Genome engineering in insects: focus on the CRISPR/Cas9 system

Hillary, V. Edwin Ceasar, Stanislaus Antony Ignacimuthu, S.,  Genome Engineering via CRISPR-Cas9 System,  2020.
Genome engineering is a precise tool used to alter the genome of desired organism. Zinc finger nuclease (ZFN), transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR), and the CRISPR-associated RNA guided ...
Keywords: , ,

Public Opinion Towards Gene Drive as a Pest Control Approach for Biodiversity Conservation and the Association of Underlying Worldviews

E. A. MacDonald, J. Balanovic, E. D. Edwards, W. Abrahamse, B. Frame, A. Greenaway, R. Kannemeyer, N. Kirk, F. Medvecky, T. L. Milfont, J. C. Russell and D. M. Tompkins,  Environmental Communication-a Journal of Nature and Culture,  15:1-16. 2020.
Synthetic gene drive approaches are nascent technologies with potential applicability for pest control for conservation purposes. Responsible science mandates that society be engaged in a dialogue over new technology, particularly where there exist global ramifications as with ...
Keywords: , ,

Development of a confinable gene drive system in the human disease vector Aedes aegypti

M. Li, T. Yang, N. P. Kandul, M. Bui, S. Gamez, R. Raban, J. Bennett, H. M. Sánchez C, G. C. Lanzaro, H. Schmidt, Y. Lee, J. M. Marshall and O. S. Akbari,  eLife,  9:e51701. 2020.
Aedes aegypti is the principal mosquito vector for many arboviruses that increasingly infect millions of people every year. With an escalating burden of infections and the relative failure of traditional control methods, the development of innovative control measures has become ...
Keywords: , ,

The kill-switch for CRISPR that could make gene-editing safer

E. Dolgin,  Nature,  577:308-310. 2020.
How anti-CRISPR proteins and other molecules could bolster biosecurity and improve medical treatments.
Keywords: , ,

These are the 5 most dystopian technologies of 2020 and beyond

M. Sullivan,  FastCompany,  2019.
Tech is always both good and bad. But we live in a time when everything gets weaponized—ideas, images, ancient texts, biases, and even people. And technology provides the tools to do it easier, faster, and with less resources.
Keywords: , ,

What is genome editing?

NHGRI,  NHGRI,  2019.
Genome editing is a method that lets scientists change the DNA of many organisms, including plants, bacteria, and animals. Editing DNA can lead to changes in physical traits, like eye color, and disease risk. Scientists use different technologies to do this.
Keywords: , ,

Genetic pest management technologies to control invasive rodents

D. Kanavy and D. Threadgill,  Island invasives: scaling up to meet the challenge,  2019.
Many strategies exist to manage invasive pests on islands, ranging from poison to trapping, with varying degrees of success. Genetic technologies are increasingly being applied to insect pests, but so far, not to vertebrates. We are implementing a genetic strategy to eradicate ...
Keywords: , ,

Trialling gene drives to control invasive species: what, where and how?

T. Harvey-Samuel, K. J. Campbell, M. Edgington and L. Alphey,  Island invasives: scaling up to meet the challenge,  2019.
The control of invasive species would be enhanced through the addition of novel, more effective and sustainable pest management methods. One control option yet to be trialled in the field is to deploy transgene-based ‘Gene Drives’: technologies which force the inheritance of ...
Keywords: , ,

Towards a genetic approach to invasive rodent eradications: assessing reproductive competitiveness between wild and laboratory mice

M. Serr, N. Heard and J. Godwin,  Island invasives: scaling up to meet the challenge,  2019.
House mice are significant invasive pests, particularly on islands without native mammalian predators. As part of a multi-institutional project aimed at suppressing invasive mouse populations on islands, we aim to create heavily male-biased sex ratios with the goal of causing the ...
Keywords: , ,

A potential new tool for the toolbox: assessing gene drives for eradicating invasive rodent populations

K. J. Campbell, J. R. Saah, P. R. Brown, J. Godwin, F. Gould, G. R. Howald, A. Piaggio, P. Thomas, D. M. Tompkins, D. Threadgill, J. Delborne, D. Kanavy, T. Kuiken, H. Packard, M. Serr and A. Shiels,  Island invasives: scaling up to meet the challenge,  2019.
Invasive rodents have significant negative impacts on island biodiversity. All but the smallest of rodent eradications currently rely on island-wide rodenticide applications. Although signifi cant advances have been made in mitigating unintended impacts, rodent eradication on ...
Keywords: , ,

Modulating CRISPR gene drive activity through nucleocytoplasmic localization of Cas9 in S. cerevisiae

M. E. Goeckel, E. M. Basgall, I. C. Lewis, S. C. Goetting, Y. Yan, M. Halloran and G. C. Finnigan,  Fungal Biology Biotechnology,  6:2. 2019.
In this study, we use artificial gene drives in budding yeast to explore mechanisms to modulate nuclease activity of Cas9 through its nucleocytoplasmic localization. We examine non-native nuclear localization sequences (both NLS and NES) on Cas9 fusion proteins in vivo through ...
Keywords: , ,

CRISPR gene drive efficiency and resistance rate is highly heritable with no common genetic loci of large effect

Champer, JW, Z. X.; Luthra, A.; Reeves, R.; Chung, J.; Liu, C.; Lee, Y. L.; Liu, J. X.; Yang, E.; Messer, P. W.; Clark, A. G.,  Genetics,  212:333-341. 2019.
Gene drives could allow for control of vector-borne diseases by directly suppressing vector populations or spreading genetic payloads designed to reduce pathogen transmission. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) homing gene drives work by cleaving ...
Keywords: , ,

CRISPR-Cas9. The greatest advancement in genetic edition techniques requires an ethical reflection

Gomez-Tatay, LA, J.,  Cuadernos De Bioetica,  30:171-185. 2019.
The adaptation of the CRISPR system as a genetic editing tool has led to a revolution in many fields of application, as this technique is considerably faster, easier to perform and more efficient than predecessor techniques. However, some of these applications raise objective ...
Keywords: , ,

Multiplexing gRNAs to Hedge Against Resistance to Gene Drive

Travis Van Warmerdam,  IGTRCN,  2018.
Recently, Oberhofer et al (2018) published a paper examining the mechanisms of homing endonuclease gene drives in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. They used a novel nuclease-encoding cassette containing four multiplexed gRNAs targeting genes required for ...
Keywords: , ,

Cas9 Gene Drive, Sex-Conversion and Evolved Resistance

Anna Buchman,  IGTRCN,  2018.
In a recent manuscript, KaramiNejadRanjbar et al. demonstrate the development of a proof of principle Cas9-based suppression gene drive in D. melanogaster that can be applied to pest insects, and discuss the implications of resistance allele formation for practical use of such a ...
Keywords: , ,

Pest demography critically determines the viability of synthetic gene drives for population control

K. E. Wilkins, T. A. A. Prowse, P. Cassey, P. Q. Thomas and J. V. Ross,  Mathematical Biosciences,  305:160-169. 2018.
Synthetic gene drives offer a novel solution for the control of invasive alien species. CRISPR-based gene drives can positively bias their own inheritance, and comprise a DNA sequence that is replicated by homologous recombination. Since gene drives can be positioned to silence ...
Keywords: , ,

CRISPR Explained

Mayo Clinic,  Mayo Clinic,  2018.
A short video that simply explains what CRISPR is and how it is used for gene editing. Simple language and highly accessible.
Keywords: , ,

What is CRISPR?

A. Vidyasagar,  LiveScience,  2018.
CRISPR technology is a simple yet powerful tool for editing genomes. It allows researchers to easily alter DNA sequences and modify gene function. Its many potential applications include correcting genetic defects, treating and preventing the spread of diseases and improving ...
Keywords: , ,

Current CRISPR gene drive systems are likely to be highly invasive in wild populations

Noble, CA, Ben; Church, George M.; Esvelt, Kevin M.; Nowak, Martin A.,  eLife,  7:e33423. 2018.
Recent reports have suggested that self-propagating CRISPR-based gene drive systems are unlikely to efficiently invade wild populations due to drive-resistant alleles that prevent cutting. Here we develop mathematical models based on existing empirical data to explicitly test ...
Keywords: , ,

Identifying knowledge gaps for gene drive research to control invasive animal species: The next CRISPR step

Moro, DB, Margaret; Kennedy, Malcolm; Campbell, Susan; Tizard, Mark,  Global Ecology and Conservation,  13:e00363. 2018.
Invasive animals have been linked to the extinctions of native wildlife, and to significant agricultural financial losses or impacts. Current approaches to control invasive species require ongoing resources and management over large geographic scales, and often result in the ...
Keywords: , ,

Gene drive inhibition by the anti-CRISPR proteins AcrIIA2 and AcrIIA4 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Basgall, EMG, S. C.; Goeckel, M. E.; Giersch, R. M.; Roggenkamp, E.; Schrock, M. N.; Halloran, M.; Finnigan, G. C.,  Microbiology-Sgm,  164:464-474. 2018.
Given the widespread use and application of the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas gene editing system across many fields, a major focus has been the development, engineering and discovery of molecular means to precisely control and regulate ...
Keywords: , ,

CRISPR/Cas9 -mediated gene knockout of Anopheles gambiae FREP1 suppresses malaria parasite infection

Dong, YS, Maria L.; Marois, Eric; Dimopoulos, George,  PLOS Pathogens,  14:e1006898. 2018.
The causative agent of malaria, Plasmodium, has to complete a complex infection cycle in the Anopheles gambiae mosquito vector in order to reach the salivary gland from where it can be transmitted to a human host. The parasite’s development in the mosquito relies on numerous ...
Keywords: , ,

Genome editing: scientific opportunities, public interests and policy options in the European Union

EASAC,  European Academies Science Advisory Council,  2017.
In many of the areas in which EASAC, the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council, works, where a large and solid body of knowledge is needed to inform the action of our societies, it is important to recognise that there is an intimate mix of science and values involved in ...
Keywords: , ,

The promise and peril of CRISPR gene drives

Zentner, GEW, Michael J. C.,  Bioessays,  39:1-9. 2017.
Gene drives are selfish genetic elements that use a variety of mechanisms to ensure they are transmitted to subsequent generations at greater than expected frequencies. Synthetic gene drives based on the clustered regularly interspersed palindromic repeats (CRISPR) genome editing ...
Keywords: , ,

The End of the GMO? Genome Editing, Gene Drives and New Frontiers of Plant Technology

K. L. Hefferon and R. J. Herring,  Review of Agrarian Studies,  7. 2017.
mprovements to agriculture will constitute one of the world’s greatest challenges in the coming century. Political and social controversies, as well as complications of plant breeding, intellectual property, and regulation, have compromised the promised impact of genetically ...
Keywords: , ,

Prospects and challenges of CRISPR/Cas genome editing for the study and control of neglected vector-borne nematode diseases

M. Zamanian and E. C. Andersen,  The FEBS Journal,  283:3204-3221. 2016.
Neglected tropical diseases caused by parasitic nematodes inflict an immense health and socioeconomic burden throughout much of the developing world. Current estimates indicate that more than two billion people are infected with nematodes, resulting in the loss of 14 million ...
Keywords: , ,

Lethal Gene Drive Selects Inbreeding

J. J. Bull,  bioRxiv,  046847. 2016.
ere, population genetic models are used to consider the evolution of inbreeding (specifically selfing) as a possible response to a recessively lethal HEG with complete segregation distortion. Numerical analyses indicate a rich set of outcomes, but selfing often evolves in ...
Keywords: , ,