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UC Berkeley Physicist Reports a New High Precision Method for Genetic Engineering and Gene Editing
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: March 27, 2019 11:26PM

Scientists from the University of California, Berkeley reported a new
technique that uses carbon nanotubes to genetically engineer any plant,
including gene editing with CRIPR-Cas9, in a simple and speedy method
similar to a sewing with a needle and thread. The results are published in
Nature Nanotechnology.

Physicist Markita Landry grafted the gene of interest onto a carbon nanotube
which works like a needle diffusing into plant cells, where the gene is
expressed as if it was the cell's own gene. The nanotube is very small (1
nanometer in diameter and several hundred nanometers long), thus it easily
slips through the tough cell wall of plants.

Genetic engineering methods usually introduce genes through a gene gun or
bacteria. Both have the small chance of getting the job done. Nanotubes,
however, are highly successful in delivering a gene into the nucleus and
chloroplast. Another advantage of the new method is its capability to
protect the DNA from being degraded by the cell, and its ability to prevent
it from being inserted into the plant's genome. Thus, the technique allows
gene modifications or deletions that in the United States and countries
other than the European Union would not trigger the designation "genetically

One of the key uses of this new method is in gene editing, particularly in
the delivery of Cas9, which is responsible for targeting and cutting the
DNA, along with the DNA encoding guide RNA to edit particular genes


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