University of Southern California

Ryan (Firth) Lab

USC Stem Cell

What I’m Reading: Amy Firth offers a top pick

Cells regulate their gene activity and differentiation by “methylating” DNA—adding carbon and hydrogen atoms to modify the DNA code. In a recent Cell publication, researchers from the Jaenisch laboratory used a precise DNA recognition system, CRISPR/Cas9, to remove or add methylation at specific genomic sequences. The technique provides an innovative tool for understanding gene regulation and the functional significance of DNA methylation, as demonstrated by their studies of cancer, and neurological and lung diseases. The new approach adds to the impressive versatility of the CRISPR/Cas9 platform for interrogating genomic regulation.

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