CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing, the human body employs in space may be particularly important

CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing was demonstrated aboard the International Space Station. us A team of scientists has developed a CRISPR-based method to study how eukaryotic cells repair DNA in space. Transformation of astronaut Christina Koch after planting Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Image credit: NASA. Astronauts traveling beyond the protective limits of Earth’s magnetosphere are at increased risk of damaging DNA from ionizing radiation (CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing).

CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing

Such DNA damage can lead to cancer and other harmful health effects, raising questions about the safety of long-duration space travel. Therefore, the specific DNA repair strategies that the human body employs in space may be particularly important. The new technique, developed by MiniPCR Bio’s Dr. Sebastian Craves and colleagues, uses CRISPR / Cas9 genome editing technology to precisely damage the DNA strand so that DNA repair mechanisms can be better observed. detail than nonspecific damage. due to radiation or other reasons (CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing).

The method specifically targets the harmful type of DNA damage known as double-stranded breaks (DSB). “Using the CRISPR / Cas9 system to study DNA repair in space has several advantages compared to previously established models,” the researchers said.

DNA Sequence

First, this system does not use radiation or other reagents that cause widespread and non-specific damage to DNA and are not safe to use during spaceflight. Second, because the DSB is generated at a precise location in the genome, any changes in the DNA sequence after repair can be easily identified and used by methods previously validated aboard the International Space Station (ISS), a Namely, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). can be traced using DNA Sequence.

The scientists successfully demonstrated the feasibility of their new method in Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cells aboard the ISS. Not that we have successfully implemented new technologies like CRISPR genome editing, PCR, and nanopore sequencing in extreme environments.

Developments

But also that we were able to integrate them into a functionally complete biotechnology workflow applicable to the study of DNA repair and other fundamental cellular processes in microgravity, Dr. Craves said. These developments fill our team with hope in humanity’s new quest to explore and inhabit the vast expanses of space. The study was published online in the journal PLOS ONE.

CRISPR / Cas9 genome editing was performed for the first time in space. NASA astronaut Christina Cock demonstrates an experimental procedure on the International Space Station. Image Credit: NASA. The importance and widespread interest of precise genetic engineering in human cells are two general applications. Technology can repair damaged DNA and reduce the risk of cancer.

Astronauts traveling outside of Earth’s protective atmosphere are at increased risk of damaging DNA in space due to ionizing radiation entering space. Therefore, it is essential to employ specific DNA repair strategies in space. Now, scientists have successfully performed gene editing for space travel. Sarah Stahl-Rommel of Genes in Space and her colleagues introduce new technology that enables DNA sequencing in space.

DNA strand

Scientists have developed a new method to study DNA repair in yeast cells that can be done entirely in space. Their technology uses CRISPR / Cas9 genome editing technology to precisely damage the DNA strand. With nonspecific damage from radiation or other causes, the DNA repair mechanism remains to be analyzed in greater detail than is possible.

This is the first demonstration of CRISPR / Cas9 genome editing in space: on the International Space Station. According to the scientists, the technology will now allow extensive research on DNA repair in space.

The study also marks the first time in space that a successful transformation has occurred in living cells, incorporating genetic material from outside the body. Here, the team focused primarily on double-stranded breaks, a specific type of damaging DNA damage.

microgravity

Lead author Sebastian Craves said: “It is not only that the team has successfully implemented novel technologies such as CRISPR genome editing, PCR, and nanopore sequencing in extreme environments, but we can also use them in a workflow. Functionally Complete Biotechnology “. capable of being applied to the study of DNA repair and other fundamental cellular processes in microgravity. These developments fill this team with hope in humanity’s new quest to explore and inhabit the vast expanses of space. “

First author Sarah Stahl Rommel says: “Being a part of Jeans in Space-6 has been one of the highlights of my career. I saw firsthand what happens when students’ innovative ideas are supported by the best in academia, industry, and NASA. The team’s expertise resulted in the ability to conduct high-quality, complex science beyond the limits of Earth. I hope this impressive collaboration continues to showcase experienced students and researchers by the same. That is what is possible in our laboratory in space. “

DNA breaks

Co-author Sarah Castro-Wallace says: It was an honor to support the genes in Space-6. I am still in awe of the incredible sophistication of the science that went into mutating an organism. edited with CRISPR / Cas9 to cause DNA breaks, followed by its growth to allow DNA repair, and eventually its DNA is sequenced, all aboard the ISS spacecraft. The ability to carry out this comprehensive end-to-end research is a huge step forward for space biology. This potential for work speaks both to exceptional students and to the genes of the space program.

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