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Today: 06 July 2020, Monday.

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Description Marek’s disease virus (MDV) is a highly cell-associated alphaherpesvirus that causes deadly lymphomas in chickens. While vaccination protects against clinical symptoms, MDV field strains can still circulate in vaccinated flocks and continuously evolve towards greater virulence. MDV vaccines do not provide sterilizing immunity, allowing the virus to overcome vaccine protection, and has increased the need for more potent vaccines or alternative interventions. In this study, we addressed if the CRISPR/Cas9 system can protect cells from MDV replication. We first screened a number of guide RNAs (gRNAs) targeting essential MDV genes for their ability to prevent virus replication. Single gRNAs significantly inhibited virus replication, but could result in the emergence of escape mutants. Strikingly, combining two or more gRNAs completely abrogated virus replication and no escape mutants were observed upon serial passaging. Our study provides the first proof-of-concept, demonstrating that the CRISPR/Cas9 system can be efficiently used to block MDV replication. The presented findings lay the foundation for future research to completely protect chickens from this deadly pathogen.

#Genetic engineering
Field # Genetic engineering
Updated 02 July 2020



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Description In a series of experiments co-funded by the National Science Foundation, scientists at Johns Hopkins have used light as a trigger to make quick, precise cuts in the genomic material of human cancer cell lines. The researchers cut the DNA within seconds using a molecular scalpel known as CRISPR and w

#Genetic engineering
Field # Genetic engineering
Updated 01 July 2020