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CRISPR/Cas9 Study Outlines Process Influencing Double-Strand Break Repair, Off-Target Effects

In Genome Biology, researchers at Zhejiang University School of Medicine and other centers in China describe ties between Cas9 single-guide RNA (sgRNA) target residence and double-strand DNA break (DSB) repair pathway selection during CRISPR-Cas9-based genome editing experiments. Through a series of mouse embryonic stem cell experiments, the team found that the strength of Cas9-sgRNA interactions with its targeted sequences influences the balance between the use of classical non-homologous end joining pathways and alternative DNA repair pathways. That, in turn, appears to impact off-target editing effects, the authors say. "As CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing generates highly heterogeneous repair products, the effects of Cas9-sgRNA target residence on DSB repair pathway choices at both on-target and off-target sites may significantly contribute to this mutational heterogeneity," they explain, noting that "[t]arget residence of Cas9-sgRNA modulates DSB repair pathway choices likely through varying dissociation of Cas9-sgRNA from cleaved DNA thus widening on-target and off-target mutational spectra in CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing."

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.