New Technology ‘Easi-CRISPR’ in News

Latest study shows how custom genetically engineered animal models are easily generated using a new patent-pending technology called Easi-CRISPR.

Easi-CRISPR allows researchers to create these much-needed animal models at previously unheard of rates and significantly lower cost.

Building off the CRISPR-Cas genome editing methods, Easi (efficient additions with ssDNA inserts)-CRISPR is the crucial next step in genome engineering to create designer animal models.

These models help scientists study the role of genes and mutations in human diseases, and explore the use of gene therapy and other potential treatments.

CRISPR was a groundbreaking advance, allowing scientists to “cut” individual genes from a genome as a replacement for creating “knockout” models. But “knocking in” a new DNA cassette, or generating more complicated conditional knockouts — which comprise over 90 percent of animal models needed by scientists — still proved inefficient, challenging and expensive.

Easi-CRISPR, by contrast, enables the insertion of long DNA sequences into CRISPR-cut genomes at efficiencies of up to 100 percent.

Easi-CRISPR is the result of an international collaboration between seven institutions, headed by Drs. Gurumurthy and Ohtsuka, with Dr. Suzanne Mansour of the University of Utah as a major collaborator.

The collaboration includes Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT), a global leader in custom nucleic acid synthesis and genome editing products, based in Coralville, Iowa.