Posted on May 09, 2018, 2 a.m.
Sophisticated gene editing technology has been used to create a new embryonic stem cell and atlas of the human genome, data provided sheds light on roles of genes in health and disease, as published in Nature Cell Biology.
A new tool for mapping roles of all human genes has been provided by Hebrew University of Jerusalem scientists. Close to all of the genes in the human genome were analysed by generation of upwards of 180,000 mutations via CRISPR-Cas9 screening techniques combined with a new form of embryonic cell which had been recently isolated to generate the large number of mutations.
Only one copy of the human genome are harbored in the new type of cell, making gene editing easier to conduct as only one copy of a target gene needs to be mutated, comparing to diploid cells wherein both gene copies need to be mutated.
Only 9% of all genes are required for embryonic stem cells to grow and survive, 5% of them limit their growth. Roles of genes which cause hereditary disorders during early development were examined, and demonstrated how oncogenes impact embryonic growth.
New functional views in how the human genome are provided by this gene atlas which is a tool that could change the manner by which cancer and other genetic disorders are analyzed. Scientists also identified a group of genes which are critical to survival of embryonic stem cells but no other cell types. New framework has been provided to better understand embryonic stem cells at genetic levels, bettering the chances for developing successful therapies.
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