Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Science Papers Describe Platform for In Vivo CRISPR Screens, Seadragon Genome Analysis

A platform of large-scale in vivo CRISPR screens is described in Science this week. Despite CRISPR-Cas9's ability to be scaled up for large-scale screens in cultured cells, its use in animals is limited by the need to generate, validate, and track large numbers of mutant animals. To address this, a University of Utah team developed MIC-Drop — short for multiplexed intermixed CRISPR droplets — that combines droplet microfluidics, single-need en masse CRISPR ribonucleoprotein infections, and DNA barcoding to enable large-scale functional genetics screens in zebrafish. "The MIC-Drop platform enables in vivo vertebrate CRISPR experiments to be performed with speed, efficiency, and scale previously available only to in vitro systems," the authors write.

An analysis of the seadragon genome is published in Science Advances this week, providing insights into this animal's evolutionary novelties and identifying its sex-determining locus. Seadragons are best known for their leaf-like appendages, toothless tubular mouth, and male pregnancy involving incubation of fertilized eggs on an open brood patch. To better understand the basis for such characteristics, a group led by scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences generated and analyzed high-quality, chromosome-level genome assemblies of the male and a female common seadragon, as well as a chromosome-scale, genome assembly for the closely related alligator pipefish. Transcription profiles show that a set of genes typically involved in fin development have been co-opted for the development of the seadragon's leaf-like appendages, as well as reveal an enrichment of transcripts for potential tissue repair and immune defense genes. The investigators also identify a putative sex-determining locus encoding a male-specific gene shared by common seadragon and alligator pipefish.

The Scan

Study Links Genetic Risk for ADHD With Alzheimer's Disease

A higher polygenic risk score for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is also linked to cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease, a new study in Molecular Psychiatry finds.

Study Offers Insights Into Role of Structural Variants in Cancer

A new study in Nature using cell lines shows that structural variants can enable oncogene activation.

Computer Model Uses Genetics, Health Data to Predict Mental Disorders

A new model in JAMA Psychiatry finds combining genetic and health record data can predict a mental disorder diagnosis before one is made clinically.

Study Tracks Off-Target Gene Edits Linked to Epigenetic Features

Using machine learning, researchers characterize in BMC Genomics the potential off-target effects of 19 computed or experimentally determined epigenetic features during CRISPR-Cas9 editing.