Video: CRISPR gene editing in real time

| | November 17, 2017
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[Researcher Osamu] Nureki’s paper was published in Nature Communications Friday, and by early morning, the video that astonished the room in [a CRISPR conference in Big Sky, Montana] was making the rounds on science Twitter, too. I watched it, still bleary-eyed from sleep, and I jolted awake immediately.

The video is grainy, blobular, and dark, but for a molecule-scale movie, it is remarkably clear. You can see CRISPR, in real time, cleaving a strand of DNA in two. There is nothing that surprising in the clip given what scientists already knew, but that is exactly what makes it so astonishing: Scientists had figured out so much about CRISPR without ever seeing it.

His team used a technique called high-speed atomic-force microscopy, in which a tiny needle moves back and forth probing the shape of Cas9. The needle moves so fast that it produces a movie. “The result is fairly easy to understand,” says Hiroshi Nishimasu, one of Nureki’s collaborators on the paper. “People say, ‘Wow!’ It’s very simple.”

Nishimasu posted the video to Twitter, and that dark, grainy clip has since gotten more than 2,500 likes. The response has been far and beyond that to any other paper he’s published, including ones in the most prestigious journals like Nature and Cell.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: An Astonishing Video Shows CRISPR Editing DNA in Real Time

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