Researchers at Several Top Universities Unveil CRISPR-Based Diagnostics That Show Great Promise for Clinical Laboratories

Three innovative technologies utilizing CRISPR-Cas13, Cas12a, and Cas9 demonstrate how CRISPR might be used for more than gene editing, while highlighting potential to develop new diagnostics for both the medical laboratory and point-of-care (POC) testing markets CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) is in the news again! The remarkable genetic-editing technology is at the core of several important developments in clinical laboratory and anatomic pathology...

Harvard Medical School Researchers Use CRISPR Technology to Insert Images into the DNA of Bacteria

Technology allows retrievable information to be recorded directly into the genomes of living bacteria, but will this technology have value in clinical laboratory testing? Researchers at Harvard Medical School have successfully used CRISPR technology to encode an image and a short film into the Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of bacteria. Their goal is to develop a way to record and store retrievable information in the genomes of living bacteria. A story in the Harvard Gazette described the new...

Genetic Fingerprint Helps Researchers Identify Aggressive Prostate Cancer from Non-Aggressive Types and Determine if Treatment Will Be Effective

New discoveries about the genetics of prostate cancer could lead to better tools for diagnosing the disease and selecting effective therapies based on each patient’s specific physiology In recent decades, the biggest challenge for urologists, and for the pathologists who diagnosed the prostate tissue specimens they referred, has been how to accurately differentiate between non-aggressive prostate cancer, which can exist for decades with no apparent symptoms, and aggressive prostate cancer that...

Pathologists and Clinical Laboratories May Soon Have a Test for Identifying Cardiac Patients at Risk from Specific Heart Drugs by Studying the Patients’ Own Heart Cells

Stanford University School of Medicine researchers grew heart muscle cells and used them, along with CRISPR, to predict whether a patient would benefit or experience bad side effects to specific therapeutic drugs What would it mean to pathology groups if they could grow heart cells that mimicked a cardiac patient’s own cells? What if clinical laboratories could determine in vitro, using grown cells, if specific patients would have positive or negative reactions to specific heart drugs before...

Breakthrough DNA Editing Tool May Help Pathologists Develop New Diagnostic Approaches to Identify and Treat the Underlying Causes of Diseases at the Genetic Level

The advent of the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic editing tool is already generating novel therapies for diseases and will create new opportunities for pathologists and medical laboratories In just 24 months, a new gene-editing tool has become the hot topic worldwide among researchers working to understand DNA and develop ways to manipulate it for therapeutic purposes. It goes by the acronym CRISPR and it may soon become quite familiar to most pathologists and medical laboratory scientists. CRISPR stands...