We’ve dug into the data from our repository to find our most requested plasmid in 2015. In line with all of the exciting developments surrounding CRISPR genome engineering in the past year, we're excited to announce that the plasmid most requested from the Addgene repository in 2015 was...
This article is based on an interview with Novartis researcher, Carrie Bhang.
The ClonTracer Library, deposited by Carrie Bhang, a research investigator in the In Vivo Pharmacology group at Novartis Oncology, is an exciting new tool that allows researchers to individually label millions of mammalian cells through lentiviral infection and to monitor their abundance and clonal dynamics over time using next generation sequencing (NGS). The library was developed when Carrie was a post-doc in Frank Stegmeier’s lab in Novartis Oncology.
What genes are important for your phenotype? Many scientists (possibly you!) study diseases for which the underlying genetic cause is not entirely known. Identifying which genes are important for a phenotype can lead to a wealth of additional experiments investigating the role of individual genes or entire pathways in a particular disease process and could aid in the development of novel therapies. While CRISPR/Cas9 is certainly not the first means to carry out so-called “forward genetic screening experiments”, it is certainly the most robust. In this blog post, we will discuss how CRISPR libraries are being used to perform genome-wide screens and highlight some of the reagents that have been made publicly available through Addgene.
CRISPR technology has changed how scientists edit and control genes, but according to the Broad Institute's Silvana Konermann, the first generation of CRISPR-Cas9 plasmids were not designed with gene activation in mind. “We had not managed to create a system to allow us to reliably activate essentially any gene,” she says. The technical leap from mutating and deactivating a gene or genes to selectively activating them with the CRISPR system was a large one. The question for her then was this: Can you engineer CRISPR-Cas9 activators that work well enough on any gene that they could be used by people with little bioengineering expertise?
It’s clear that CRISPR-Cas9 technology has really changed the game for anyone looking to quickly and easily manipulate specific genes. But what if you want to study genes all across the genome? Two new human lentiviral CRISPR library systems described in companion papers in Science in December were developed as an answer to that question. Additionally, a concurrent Nature Biotechnology article describes the development of a mouse lentiviral CRISPR library.
“This enables you to do customized genetic modification on a scale that was really not possible before,” said the Broad Institute's Ophir Shalem. “Whole regions of the genome which were not accessible before are now accessible using this technology.”