Model Generation Solutions INSIGHTS

Overview of Genetic Modification Techniques

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The first genetically-modified mouse capable of transferring its modified genome to offspring was developed in the early 1980s. Since then, multiple genetic modification techniques have been developed to modify rodent genomes and are still commonly used today. Random and targeted transgenesis are commonly used today to study the effects of incorporating exogenous DNA for the purposes of expressing proteins not normally present in mice and rats, while...  Read More

A Simple Guide to CRISPR

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In the short time since the introduction of CRISPR technology in 1987, it has proved to be a valuable tool. In 2018, there were over 17,000 publications on CRISPR gene editing technology compared to seven years earlier when there were less than 100 publications. The future is bright in how CRISPR will impact research, treatments, and cures. VOX recently published, A simple guide to CRISPR, one of...  Read More

CRISPR Patent Update: Broad vs. Berkeley

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It was recently announced that the legal battle over the CRISPR/Cas9 patents is likely finished with the Broad Institute prevailing above UC Berkeley. This ongoing debate began in 2014 with multiple research groups and institutions claiming rights to the CRISPR/Cas9 technology. The researchers involved in this case are Dr. Jennifer Doudna (UC Berkeley) and Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier (University of Vienna) who engineered the Cas9 endonuclease from a...  Read More

Application of CRISPR/Cas to the Generation of Genetically Engineered Mice White Paper

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UPDATE: This White Paper has been updated in 2018 to reflect the latest technological advances and usage recommendations of CRISPR/Cas in the generation of research models. CRISPR/Cas gene editing has emerged as a versatile technology for inducing precise genetic alterations in a number of different species, including mice and rats. Given the importance of genetically engineered mice in modeling human disease, the power of CRISPR has the...  Read More

The Advantages and Limitations of Easi-CRISPR

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CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology enables the modification of the mouse and rat genomes with unprecedented simplicity and speed but is subject to limitations that restrict its application to the introduction of simple mutations such as constitutive knockout or point mutation alleles. Easi-CRISPR overcomes those limitations by using longer single-stranded DNA, offering researchers a faster and more efficient technology for targeted transgenesis and complex genetic modifications. Limitations of...  Read More

Deflating the CRISPR/Cas9 Off-Target Controversy

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UPDATE: The paper which originally tied CRISPR/Cas 9 to off-target mutations in the mouse genome has been retracted. More information is available here. The use of CRISPR/Cas9 has profoundly affected mouse genetics by reducing the cost and the timeline associated with the introduction of mutations in the genome. But is it possible that CRISPR isn't specific enough for the generation of genetically engineered animal models? Since its...  Read More

Webinar Q&A — Your Guide to the C57BL/6 Mouse

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Did you miss Dr. Philip Dubé's recent webinar, The Most Important Mouse in the World - Your Guide to the C57BL/6 Mouse? His presentation explored genetic diversity amongst C57BL/6 substrains, the implications for GEM models, and the utility of the C57BL/6 mouse in studies of metabolism, immunology, oncology and behavior. Due to time constraints, many of the questions researchers submitted to his Q&A session went unanswered. Here...  Read More

Here is what CRISPR, the number 62 and pigs have in common!

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In December of 2015, Taconic Biosciences published an Insight titled, What do CRISPR, the number 62, and pigs have in common? In that Insight, Dr. George Church of Harvard Medical School explained that his lab had edited 62 genes in pig embryos using CRISPR-Cas9. Their goal was to make pigs better candidates as organ donors for humans. Given their close anatomical size to humans, pigs are thought...  Read More

New Vici Syndrome Mouse Model Could Accelerate Research

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Most rare diseases have a genetic component, making access to an animal model with the associated gene mutation a must for developing new therapies. Yet these diseases don't often attract the funding to develop a genetically engineered model of the condition. With the help of Taconic Biosciences, two investigators studying Vici syndrome now have this essential research tool in hand. Vici syndrome is a severe congenital multisystem...  Read More

CRISPR Genome Engineering: Advantages and Limitations

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Four years after the debut of CRISPR/Cas9 in mouse genetics, it is time to start drawing some conclusions on its performance, advantages, and limitations as a genome engineering technology1,2,3. Advantages of CRISPR Genome Engineering Arguably, the most important advantages of CRISPR/Cas9 over other genome editing technologies is its simplicity and efficiency. Since it can be applied directly in embryo, CRISPR/Cas9 reduces the time required to modify target...  Read More