MPN milestone: CRISPR gene editing
CRISPR labs take on MPN research
Most enterprises don’t have such a clear beginning, but this one clocked in December 8, 2014. 9:27AM, precisely.
It started in a parking lot up above the Greek Theater on the UC Berkeley Campus. And there’s a date stamped parking pass to mark the event. It’s not every day a crusade has such a clear marker.
In pursuit of an MPNforum story I had come to Berkeley to see Jennifer Doudna, co-discoverer of the CRISPR/Cas9 (Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and the CRISPR-associated enzyme) gene editing system.
Across the Bay in San Francisco, the world of hematologists gathered at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology. For decades, the ASH meetings had been the focus of all our hopes for relief, for a cure. As I pulled into the parking lot I was well aware of how symbolic it was to turn away from those proceedings, even briefly, to explore this unknown territory.
Suddenly, there was hope, a fresh approach to treat disease that might apply to MPNs. Now there was a technology coming out of the biology labs that would no longer rely on putting out fires downstream of the blaze. This technology promised the possibility of correcting mutations that cause the conflagration of myeloproliferative neoplasm at their very source.
Four months later: CRISPR scientists are now working with MPN cell lines and stem cells as the big guns of structural and synthetic biology have been trained on MPN research projects.
It took the combined work of patients, hematologists, gene editing scientists, the MPN Research Foundation and MPN Genetics to make it happen.
Here’s that story… and a view of the Boston gene editing meeting that runs into a blizzard, an Indian video star, a CAR-T placed before the horse and an over-qualified camera repair guy… (Read on)
Snapshots of CRISPR pioneers George Church (Harvard, MIT), Rachel Haurwitz (Caribou Biosciences) and Jacob Corn (Innovative Genomics Initiative).
George Church on synthetic biology and MPNs (Here.)
Jacob Corn “No one’s hiding their stuff.” (Here.)
The Two faces of Rachel Haurwitz (Here.)
Of mice and men… The unsung little heroes on the front lines of health. Ours. (Here.)
News: CRISPR researchers target incurable blood cancer (Here.)
Coming up: MPN Quarterly Journal to focus on CRISPR Cas9 and gene editing.
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