Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Stem Cells, Cellular Therapy & Biobanking
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

DNA Editor Named Runner-up Breakthrough of 2012

Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Bookmark and Share
A discovery that allows life scientists to precisely edit genomes for everything from crop and livestock improvement to human gene and cell therapy was named runner-up for Science magazine's 2012 Breakthrough of the Year.

The work by Adam Bogdanove, Cornell professor of plant pathology and plant-microbe biology, joined eight other runners-up to Breakthrough of the Year -- the discovery of the Higgs boson -- in the magazine's Dec. 21 issue.

Bogdanove's breakthrough, which came in 2009 while he worked as a plant pathologist at Iowa State University, allows researchers to target and cut DNA in a living cell. Bogdanove identified a DNA targeting mechanism in proteins called TAL effectors that are used by plant pathogenic bacteria to alter gene expression in their hosts.

In 2010 he and collaborators at the University of Minnesota showed that these proteins could be used to carry an enzyme that cuts DNA, called a nuclease, that target specific DNA sequences in an organism's genome. The combination of TAL effector and nuclease is called a TALEN.

"The ability to cut DNA in living cells with TALENs allows researchers to modify DNA with higher efficiency than was previously possible," Bogdanove said. While another technology called zinc finger nucleases can also target specific genes, those nucleases are hard to make, and one company owns most of the patents. TALENs can be easily and cheaply constructed and are widely available.

TALENs give researchers the power not only to target and knock out specific gene sequences, but also to replace them with new DNA. The technology opens the door for medical applications such as gene therapy.

Depending on the nature of, say, a genetic defect, researchers may soon be able to extract a patient's cells, place them in a petri dish, remove the genetic mutation, replace that sequence with healthy code, and reintroduce the patient's own cells, now fixed, Bogdanove said.

Similarly, plant breeders may use TALENs to sidestep traditional breeding of crops by inserting new, site-specific genetic information, he added.

Bogdanove is working to further understand the basic biology of plant bacteria interactions with TAL effectors. "In that context, we expect to learn fundamental things of how these proteins interact with DNA that further inform technology development," he said.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Turn out the Light: 'Switch' Determines Cancer Cell Fate
Like picking a career or a movie, cells have to make decisions – and cancer results from cells making wrong decisions.
Friday, May 03, 2013
Physicists Crack Science of Ice Formation
Salt - and just about anything else that dissolves in water, which is called a solute - lowers water's melting point, which is why it's useful for de-icing roads.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Puppy Born from Frozen Embryo Fetches Good News
Breakthrough shows hope for endangered canids.
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Some Stem Cells Can Trigger Tumors
When in contact with even trace amounts of cancer cells, stem cells can create a microenvironment suitable for more tumors to grow.
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Scientific News
How a Genetic Locus Protects Adult Blood-Forming Stem Cells
Mammalian imprinted Gtl2 protects adult hematopoietic stem cells by restricting metabolic activity in the cells' mitochondria.
Fat Cells Originating from Bone Marrow Found in Humans
Cells could contribute to diabetes, heart disease.
Ancient Viral Molecules Essential for Human Development
Genetic material from ancient viral infections is critical to human development, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
CRI Identifies Emergency Blood-formation Response
Researchers report that when tissue damage occurs, an emergency blood-formation system activates.
New Way to Force Stem Cells to Become Bone Cells
Potential therapies based on this discovery could help people heal bone injuries or set hardware, such as replacement knees and hips.
Dead Bacteria to Kill Colorectal Cancer
Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) have successfully used dead bacteria to kill colorectal cancer cells.
Promise of Newborn Stem Cells to Revolutionize Clinical Practice
In this article Shweta Sharma, PhD, discusses the potential of an Umbilical Cord Blood bank as an untapped source of samples for research and clinical trials.
The Life Story of Stem Cells
A model analyses the development of stem cell numbers in the human body.
Novel Stem Cell Line Avoids Risk of Introducing Transplanted Tumors
Progenitor cells might eventually be used to repair or rebuild damaged or destroyed organs.
Advancing Genome Editing of Blood Stem Cells
Genome editing techniques for blood stem cells just got better, thanks to a team of researchers at USC and Sangamo BioSciences.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos