Scientists at Kobe University in Japan have created a modified CRISPR/Cas9–based gene-editing tool that uses, among other things, a sea lamprey enzyme to avoid the need for deleterious double-strand breaks in the target DNA. Their work was published in Science this week (August 4).
In April, researchers at Harvard University reported on their generation of another modified CRISPR gene-editing tool that also requires no cutting.
“During double-stranded break repair, many things are going on at once and sometimes nucleotides are deleted and inserted or mutated in a way that is out of our control,” Akihiko Kondo of Kobe University, a coauthor on the present study, told The Scientist.
Just after the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced its initiation of a human safety trial for a Zika vaccine, a team led by researchers at Harvard University reported on the efficacy of three different vaccines in a nonhuman primate model. All three protected Rhesus macaques from viral infection, the team reported in Science.
“They all seem to work, which is encouraging because it probably means in vivo it’s fairly easy to get protection against Zika,” James Crowe, an immunologist and infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, who was not involved in the work, told The Scientist.
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