CRISPR-Cas9: Timeline of key events

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A team of scientists managed to engineer mice to express Cas9 and a DNA sequence needed for the gene drive, called a cassette, which encoded a guide RNA that targets a sequence in the TYR gene which affects the mouse coat colour. This provided a means of tracking the frequency of the genetic modification over several generations of mice. The work was published in HA Grunwald et al. 'Super-Mendelian inheritance mediated by CRISPR–Cas9 in the female mouse germline', Nature, January 23, 2019.2019-01-23T00:00:00+0000The advantage of the technique is it enables scientists to disable specific genes and correct harmful mutations by providing cells with fresh DNA strands with to repair the cut. Unlike Crispr-Cas9, which chops target DNA in half, prime editing nicks it and then writes a new section of DNA into the specified region. The new procedure was published in AW Anzalone et al, 'Search-and-replace genome editing without double-strand breaks or donor DNA', Nature (2019), https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1711-42019-10-21T00:00:00+0000He Jiankui, who used the gene-editing technology to make twin babies immune to HIV by altering gene CCR5, was sentenced to three years in prison by a Chinese court and fined around $430,000. 2019-12-30T00:00:00+0000A person with Leber’s congenital amaurosis 10 (LCA10), a genetic condition that is a leading cause of blindness in childhood, was given the treatment. It involved administering a CRISPR–Cas9 gene therapy directly into the patient's eye, near photoreceptor cells. The treatment aims to delete a mutation in the gene CEP290 that is responsible for LCA10. The procedure was performed at Oregon Health and Science University by Mark Pennesi. 2020-03-04T00:00:00+0000Three non peer-review papers published showing modification of just one gene in human embryos cause unintended DNA deletions and rearrangements in the surrounded targeted sequence. The work was undertaken only for research purposes with embryos being destroyed after the end of the experiments. The first study was carried out by researchers at the Francis Crick Institute (doi.org/10.1101/2020.06.05.135913), the second by researchers at Columbia University (doi.org/10.1101/2020.06.17.149237) and the last one by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University (https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.06.19.162214). 2020-06-01T00:00:00+0000Doudna and Charpentier's development of the CRISPR/Cas9 method together with other colleagues has radically transformed the process for gene editing. Enabling genetic engineering to be carried out on an unprecedented scale at very low cost, CRISPR/Cas9 is now exploited for a wide range of applications ranging from agriculture through to human health. 2020-10-07T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
23 Jan 2019CRISPR-Cas9 used to control genetic inheritance in miceGrunwald, Gntz, Poplawski, Xu, Bier, CooperUniversity of California San DiegoCRISPR-Cas9, Genetics, Transgenic animals
21 Oct 2019New DNA editing technique called 'prime editing' publishedAnzalone, Randolph, Davis, Sousa, Koblan, Levy, Chen, Wilson, Newby, Ranguram, LiuMassachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard UniversityCrispr-Cas9, Gene editing,
30 Dec 2019Chinese scientist convicted for using CRISPR-Cas9 in human babiesJiankuiSouthern University of Science and Technology of ChinaCrispr-Cas9, Gene editing,
4 Mar 2020First patient received gene editing therapy with CRISPR directly administered into the bodyPennesiOregon Health and Science UniversityCrispr-Cas9, Gene editing, Opthalmology, Gene therapy
Jun 2020Research published casting doubt over safety of using CRISPR-Cas 9 to modify human embryos Francis Crick Institute, Columbia University, Oregon Health & Science UniversityCrispr-Cas9, Gene editing
7 Oct 2020Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna 'for the development of a method for genome editing'.Doudna, CharpentierUniversity California Berkeley, University of UmeaCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing,

23 Jan 2019

CRISPR-Cas9 used to control genetic inheritance in mice

21 Oct 2019

New DNA editing technique called 'prime editing' published

30 Dec 2019

Chinese scientist convicted for using CRISPR-Cas9 in human babies

4 Mar 2020

First patient received gene editing therapy with CRISPR directly administered into the body

Jun 2020

Research published casting doubt over safety of using CRISPR-Cas 9 to modify human embryos

7 Oct 2020

Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna 'for the development of a method for genome editing'.

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