DNA glowing in 3D: We can now track genes moving in real time using CRISPR

Mutations are changes to the DNA code, such as when one nucleotide base (A, T, G or C) is incorrectly subbed for another. DNA image via www.shutterstock.com
Mutations are changes to the DNA code, such as when one nucleotide base (A, T, G or C) is incorrectly subbed for another. DNA image via www.shutterstock.com

Mazhar Adli, of the University of Virginia School of Medicine’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, has developed a way to track genes inside living cells. He can set them aglow and watch them move in three dimensions, allowing him to map their positions, much like star charts record the shifting heavens above. And just as the moon influences the tides, the position of genes influences the effects they have; thus, 3-D maps of gene locations could lead scientists to a vastly more sophisticated appreciation of how our genes work and interact – and how they affect our health.

Adli’s new approach…uses the CRISPR gene editing system that has proved a sensation in the science world.

The new method overcomes longstanding limitations of gene imaging. “We were told we would never be able to do this,” Adli said. “[But with this technique], we can look at the single-cell level, and the cell is still alive, and we can take movies of what’s happening inside.”

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[Read the full study here]

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: UVA Team Finds Way to View Genes Inside Living Cells, in Real Time

For more background on the Genetic Literacy Project, read GLP on Wikipedia

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