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Cas9 driven by an optimal promoter improves gene editing in eukaryotic cell lines when paired with synthetic crRNA and tracrRNA
Amanda Haupt, Emily Anderson, Žaklina Strezoska, Hidevaldo Machado, Shawn McClelland, Maren Mayer, Adam Rocker, Annaleen Vermeulen, Amanda Birmingham, Melissa Kelley, Anja Smith

Presented here are results on the efficiency of using synthetic crRNA and tracrRNA to introduce gene editing events when co-transfected with a plasmid expressing Cas9. We explored the use of antibiotic and fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) methods for enrichment of cells that have undergone gene editing, and the use of multiple promoters to increase efficiency of gene editing with Cas9 and synthetic tracrRNA and crRNAs.

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Specificity and functionality of microRNA inhibitors
Barbara Robertson, Andrew Dalby, Jon Karpilow, Anastasia Khvorova, Devin Leake and Annaleen Vermeulen

Our findings indicate that features important for natural miRNA target recognition also appear to be important for inhibitor specificity. Understanding the specificity of inhibitors allows for better interpretation of inhibitor activity in endogenous systems.

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Identification of microRNA targets using microRNA modulation techniques and gene expression arrays
Emily M. Anderson, Maren Mayer, Kevin Sullivan, Barbara Robertson, Žaklina Strezoska, Annaleen Vermeulen, and Devin Leake

By examining the overlap of messages down-regulated by miRNA mimics and up-regulated by miRNA inhibitors, we robustly identify miRNA-regulated messages, many of which have canonical seed matches and some which are not identied by standard target prediction programs.

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siRNA Screening: Development of Hit Stratification Strategies
Žaklina Strezoska, Annaleen Vermeulen, Emily M. Anderson, Anja Smith, Devin Leake

This poster compares different approaches to hit stratification and validation after an initial screen. Standard siRNA reagents deconvoluted from a pooled set of four were compared to a pooled set of four specificity enhanced reagents. High confidence hits were similar. To explore the validity of low confidence hits, a chimeric approach was used whereby a gene-specific seed sequence was introduced into a non-targeting siRNA scaffold. This work resulted in new hit stratification strategies.

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The Chemical Synthesis of Long and Highly Modified RNA using 2'-ACE Chemistry
Xiaoqin Cheng, Kristina Larson, Letitia Kwok, David Mierzejewski, Shawn Begay, Randy Rauen, Kelly Grimsley, Kaizhang He, Michael Delaney, David Kitchen, Amanda Haas, Melissa Kelley, Anja van Brabant Smith

Dharmacon has previously developed a novel RNA synthesis chemistry making RNA synthesis as reliable, accessible and of comparable quality as routinely observed in DNA synthesis.

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Droplet-on-Demand Platform for Biochemical Screening & Drug Discovery
L.D. van Vliet1*, F. Gielen1, A. Sinha2, B.T. Koprowski3, J.B. Edel4, X.Niu5, A.J. deMello3, F. Hollfelder1, & J. Motschman2

To demonstrate droplet on demand applications towards study of biological entities encapsulated in nanoliter droplets. Interfacing a droplet on demand platform with microfluidic chips allows for merging and dilution of droplets. This feature is applied to encapsulate yeast cells (S. cerevisiae) and multicellular organisms (C. elegans).

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Direct Targets Identification of a Bioactive Compound
Sylvain Blanc, Paul Bradley, Marie-Edith Gourdel, Michael Cholay, Gisèle Guimèse, Mike Mckenzie, George Nasi, Jean-Christophe and Barbara Ruggiero

Identifying protein partners of a small bioactive molecule is of great
interest in many aspects of life sciences and specifically in the drug
discovery and development process cycle. It is a support to (i) decipher
the mechanism of action after for example a “High Content” screening,
(ii) study “off-target” effects, (iii) adjust therapeutic indications and
clinical regimens of a drug and (iv) consider drug repositioning.

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3D-Tissue/ Whole-blood Co-culture Models Combined with Multi-Analyte Profile (MAP) Analyses for In-vivo-like Immunopharmacology
Stein GM, Joos T, Schmolz M

Human Organotypic Test (HOT) Systems aim at in-vivo like substance characterisation of all preparations meant to act on the human immune system.

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A multiplexed amplicon sequencing technology for FFPE and circulating, cell-free DNA
Laurie Kurihara, Catherine Couture, Julie Laliberte, Sukhinder Sandhu, Jonathan Irish, Tim Harkins and Vladimir Makarov

A novel amplicon approach allowing for hundreds of amplicons to be multiplexed in a single tube with a two workflow from sample to sequencer.

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Scientific News
Poor Survival Rates in Leukemia Linked to Persistent Genetic Mutations
For patients with an often-deadly form of leukemia, new research suggests that lingering cancer-related mutations – detected after initial treatment with chemotherapy – are associated with an increased risk of relapse and poor survival.
Marijuana Genome Unraveled
A study by Canadian researchers is providing a clearer picture of the evolutionary history and genetic organization of cannabis, a step that could have agricultural, medical and legal implications for this valuable crop.
Growing Hepatitis C in the Lab
Recent discovery allows study of naturally occurring forms of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the lab.
Signature of Microbiomes Linked to Schizophrenia
Studying microbiomes in throat may help identify causes and treatments of brain disorder.
Study Identifies the Off Switch for Biofilm Formation
New discovery could help prevent the formation of infectious bacterial films on hospital equipment.
Genetic Overlapping in Multiple Autoimmune Diseases May Suggest Common Therapies
CHOP genomics expert leads analysis of genetic architecture, with eye on repurposing existing drugs.
Fat in the Family?
Study could lead to therapeutics that boost metabolism.
Combo Tool
Joining molecular components expands ability to manipulate genes in specific cell types.
Team Identifies Structure of Tumor-Suppressing Protein
An international group of researchers led by Carnegie Mellon University physicists Mathias Lösche and Frank Heinrich have established the structure of an important tumor suppressing protein, PTEN.
Genes Associated With Improved Survival for Pancreatic Cancer Patients
Use of non-invasive liquid biopsies could predict in which patients the cancer could recur following surgery.
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