October 2018: Science publishes a paper by Burstein on tiny new CRISPR-Cas systems

Science Journal publishes a paper by E.J. Safra member, Dr. David Burstein (Life Sciences).

October 2018: Science publishes a paper by Burstein on tiny new CRISPR-Cas systems

 

CRISPR-Cas systems serve in nature as a bacterial adaptive immune system against viruses.  These systems, specifically the DNA-targeting Cas9 and Cas12, have been broadly repurposed as a genome editing and manipulation tools.

 

A recent paper published in Science by Dr. David Burstein, Edmond J. Safra member, and colleagues from UC Berkeley, describes the discovery of a wide diversity of novel CRISPR-Cas systems (Cas14) that were found in uncultivated microbes using metagenomic analysis.

The Cas14 proteins are considerably smaller than any previously described CRISPR-Cas system. Cas14 can accurately recognize DNA targets, which, as demonstrated in the paper, allows using it as a high-fidelity SNP genotyping tool. These tiny systems are an important addition to the CRISPR-based toolbox and a possible explanation regarding the evolutionary origins of CRISPR-Cas.

 

The work was performed by Dr. Burstein while being a postdoc in UC Berkeley, in collaboration with the Join Genome Institute (JGI) under the supervision of Jennifer Doudna and Jill Banfield, UC Berkeley.

 

 

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