Friday, April 14, 2017

That CRISPR Dog Can Hunt!

From StatNews comes this terrific little lede about CRISPR gene-editing technology called SHERLOCK:

If the genome-editing powerhouse CRISPR were a dog, it would be the kind you can train to retrieve everything from Frisbees to slippers to a cold beer.

In research reported on Thursday, scientists trained their puppy to be so discriminating it can tell Zika’s genetic material from dengue’s, the DNA in one kind of antibiotic-resistant “superbug” from that in another, and DNA in cancer cells from DNA in healthy cells — even when that DNA is present in quantities equal to a couple of pinches of salt in Lake Superior.

That achievement, described in Science, could pave the way for quick, easy, cheap, and precise diagnostic tests, including in difficult conditions like those in a developing country experiencing a disease outbreak.

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