NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Scientists from the UK have exploited single nucleotide polymorphisms in alleles that cause corneal dystrophy to edit the genes using CRISPR/Cas9.

While CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing can be programmed to target many sections of the genome, the technique will only make a double-stranded break if the guide RNA matches up next to a three-base-pair section called a protospacer adjacent motif (PAM). For Cas9 enzymes from Streptococcus pyogenes commonly used in genome editing applications, PAMs take the form of NGG.

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The UK's Nuffield Council on Bioethics says genetically modifying human embryos could be morally permissible, according to the Guardian.

A new Nature Biotechnology paper reports that CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing can lead to large deletions or complex rearrangements that could be pathogenic.

The Wall Street Journal likens a prototype developed by Synthetic Genomics to a "biological fax machine."

In PNAS this week: strategy for reactivating Rett syndrome-linked MECP2, small molecules able to suppress Staphylococcus aureus virulence, and more.