A team that includes the scientist who first harnessed the revolutionary CRISPR-Cas9 and other systems for genome editing of eukaryotic organisms, including animals and plants, has engineered another CRISPR system, called Cas12b. The new system offers improved capabilities and options when compared to CRISPR-Cas9 systems. In a study published in Nature Communications, Feng Zhang and… Read more

New research identifies cellular processes that appear to supercharge both growth and shrinkage of telomeres — the chemical “caps” on chromosomes associated with aging. The work, which focused on two enzymes in yeast, could lead to new insights on stopping runaway cellular growth in cancer tumors and the treatment of premature aging disorders such as… Read more

Gradual depletion of the enzyme BACE1 totally reverses the formation of amyloid plaques in the brains of mice with Alzheimer’s disease, thereby improving the animals’ cognitive function, researchers from the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute have found. The study raises hopes that drugs targeting this enzyme will be able to successfully treat Alzheimer’s disease in… Read more

A new method to create synthetic neurons allows researchers to investigate how the human brain makes metabolic building blocks essential for the survival of all living organisms. A second study describes a core enzyme involved in the synthesis of these building blocks, called purines, and how the enzyme might change during infection by herpes simplex… Read more

A new platform offers a fast and more efficient way to target and program mammalian cells as genetic circuits, even complex ones. Wilson Wong, professor of biomedical engineering at Boston University, explains: “The problem synthetic biologists are trying to solve is how we ask cells to make decisions and try to design a strategy to… Read more