Researchers use CRISPR to edit DNA outside of the cell for the first time
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IMAGE: Director of the Gene Editing Institute and principal author of the study. view more 

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Credit: Gene Editing Institute

Wilmington, DE, April 19, 2018 – Scientists at Christiana Care Health System’s Gene Editing Institute have developed a potentially breakthrough CRISPR gene-editing tool. It could allow researchers to take fragments of DNA extracted from human cells, put them into a test tube, and quickly and precisely engineer multiple changes to the genetic code, according to a new study published today in the CRISPR Journal.

Christiana Care Health System’sGene Editing InstituteCRISPR Journal

Investigators at the Gene Editing Institute, which is part of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute at Christiana Care, said their new “cell-free” CRISPR technology is the first CRISPR tool capable of making multiple edits to DNA samples “in vitro,” which means in a test tube or petri dish. The advance could have immediate value as a diagnostic tool, replicating the exact genetic mutations found in the tumors of individual cancer patients. Mutations that cause cancer to spread can differ from patient to patient, and being able to quickly identify the correct mutation affecting an individual patient can allow clinicians to implement a more targeted treatment strategy.

Helen F. Graham Cancer Center

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