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CRISPR Reading

In its debut issue, the CRISPR Journal includes research articles exploring the use of gene editing to treat retinitis pigmentosa and Batten disease as well as commentaries on how the tool could be applied to conservation and on the effect of patents on the field.

"This is obviously a very momentous time for the field, and this inaugural issue fittingly captures its breadth and depth," says North Carolina State University's Rodolphe Barrangou, the editor-in-chief of the CRISPR Journal, in a statement.

In its paper, a team led by Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary's Liu Qin reports that it was able to target the mutant version of the gene that causes dominantly inherited retinitis pigmentosa, while a University of Iowa team recounts its work on correcting a deletion within induced pluripotent stem cells derived from patients with Batten disease.

At the same time, researchers from the de-extinction group Revive & Restore argue that CRISPR gene editing could help in efforts to protect endangered species from extinction, and Jacob Sherkow from New York Law School and Columbia University writes that the present patent dispute surrounding CRISPR hasn't hampered its use, though he notes that its broad availability in the future isn't clear.

According to its publisher, Mary Ann Liebert, the bimonthly journal is to focus on the applications and technology of CRISPR.

The Scan

Cancer Survival Linked to Mutational Burden in Pan-Cancer Analysis

A pan-cancer paper appearing in JCO Precision Oncology suggests tumor mutation patterns provide clues for predicting cancer survival that are independent of other prognostic factors.

Australian Survey Points to Public Support for Genetic Risk Disclosure in Relatives of At-Risk Individuals

A survey in the European Journal of Human Genetics suggests most adult Australians are in favor of finding out if a relative tests positive for a medically actionable genetic variant.

Study Links Evolution of Stony Coral Skeleton to Bicarbonate Transporter Gene

A PNAS paper focuses on a skeleton-related bicarbonate transporter gene introduced to stony coral ancestors by tandem duplication.

Hormone-Based Gene Therapy to Sterilize Domestic Cat

A new paper in Nature Communication suggests that gene therapy could be a safer alternative to spaying domestic cats.