Researchers have used genome editing technology to reveal the role of a key gene in human embryos in the first few days of development. This is the first time that genome editing has been used to study gene function in human embryos, which could help scientists to better understand the biology of our early development.
Gene editing using ‘molecular scissors’ that snip out and replace faulty DNA could provide an almost unimaginable future for some patients: a complete cure. Cambridge researchers are working towards making the technology cheap and safe, as well as examining the ethical and legal issues surrounding one of the most exciting medical advances of recent times.
Researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the University of Cambridge have created sOPTiKO, a more efficient and enhanced inducible CRISPR genome editing platform. Today, in the journal Development, they describe how the freely available single-step system works in every cell in the body and at every stage of development. This new approach will aid researchers in developmental biology, tissue regeneration and cancer.