New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

Read the latest cancer research and recognition from the members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle.
January 5, 2017
New RNA-targeting CRISPR system discovered

Feng Zhang, PhD (Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovator ‘12-‘14) of the Broad Institute, Cambridge, and colleagues, reported the discovery of new types of RNA-targeting CRISPR systems, which utilize a novel Cas enzyme called Cas13b. Cas13b is capable of targeting and degrading RNA (rather than DNA, which is targeted by previous CRISPR systems), which will enable researchers to specifically manipulate RNA in a high-throughput manner and manipulate gene function more broadly. The characterization of Cas13b has the potential to create a suite of RNA manipulation tools for studying a wide-range of biological processes that could be important for understanding and treatment of cancer and other diseases. The findings were reported in the scientific journal Molecular Cell.