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SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 Detection Methods Based on CRISPR/Cas

Posted by Guest Blogger on May 5, 2020 9:15:00 AM

This post was contributed by Shravanti Suresh from Iowa State University.

Since its appearance, SARS-CoV-2 has spread to almost every part of the world manifesting as a full-fledged pandemic. Containing the spread of this virus has become an utmost priority for countries around the world and to do so, the WHO recommends one strategy: testing, tracking, and social distancing.

With countries like South Korea, one of the earlier epicenters of the outbreak ultimately flattening the curve, it has become evident that widespread testing is crucial in controlling this pandemic. Currently, the CDC uses RT-qPCR tests to diagnose COVID-19 and some serological tests to determine past exposure. However, the limited availability of reagents and equipment and the long turnaround times, have led researchers to turn to other technologies like CRISPR.

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Topics: CRISPR, Cas Proteins, COVID-19

Finding nucleic acids with SHERLOCK and DETECTR

Posted by Alyssa Cecchetelli on Apr 16, 2020 9:00:09 AM

Originally published Aug 30, 2018 and updated April 16, 2020.

Sensitive and specific nucleic acid detection is crucial for clinical diagnostics, genotyping, and biotechnological advancements. Many methods of nucleic acid detection however, either lack the sensitivity or the specificity to detect nucleic acids at low concentrations and/or are too expensive, time-consuming, and complex to use outside of standard laboratories. In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, qPCR can be used to diagnose the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA, but inadequate access to reagents and equipment has become a bottleneck.

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Topics: CRISPR, Cas Proteins, Other CRISPR Tools, COVID-19

Behind-the-scenes of the Isolation of the Thermostable IgnaviCas9 From a Yellowstone Hot Spring

Posted by Christina Mork on Nov 12, 2019 9:00:00 AM

In 2008 the Quake Lab at Stanford University became interested in exploring biological dark matter – large tracts of the microbial tree of life that remained unexplored. Using new single-cell sequencing approaches, the lab was able to eliminate the need for axenic (pure) laboratory cultures to study these microbes. From 16S rRNA sequencing, hot springs were known to be diversity hotspots containing abundant biological dark matter and so the lab organized a sampling trip to Yellowstone National Park (YNP).

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Topics: CRISPR, Cas Proteins

Choosing a CRISPR Nuclease: Site Accessibility, Specificity, and Sensitivity

Posted by Andrew Hempstead on Nov 5, 2019 8:28:59 AM

In January 2016 we first published a blog post titled: Which Cas9 Do I Choose for My CRISPR Experiment? The three years flew by, but since then, scientists have adapted CRISPR nucleases for many more specific research needs. In this update, we will focus on the most recent advances and how some of these variants may be appropriate for your specific research question.

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Topics: CRISPR, Cas Proteins

Prime Editing: Adding Precision and Flexibility to CRISPR Editing

Posted by Jennifer Tsang on Oct 24, 2019 9:26:53 AM

Updated June 5, 2020.

There are over 75,000 pathogenic genetic variants that have been identified in humans and catalogued in the ClinVar database. Previously developed genome editing methods using nucleases and base editors have the potential to correct only a minority of those variants in most cell types. A new technique from David Liu’s lab at the Broad Institute could add more precision and flexibility to the CRISPR editing world.

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Topics: CRISPR, Cas Proteins, CRISPR gRNAs, Base Editing

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