Genome Editing by CRISPR-CAS9: Turning a Bacterial Trick into a Biotechnology Revolution”.

Our 2017-18 programme continues on Thursday 26 October with a fascinating insight into the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology with Prof Bernard Hallet from the Universite Catholique de Louvain in his talk: ‘Genome Editing by CRISPR-CAS9: Turning a Bacterial Trick into a Biotechnology Revolution”.

The development of targeted genome editing systems and their applications has moved forward enormously in the last decade. However, in the last five years it has undergone a quantum leap with the introduction of CRISPR-Cas9, the bacterial immune system which can be used to edit genomes on demand. It was a serendipitous discovery that bacteria contained DNA sequences which were repeated, and interspersed with unique sequences known as CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats), and these unique sequences were latterly identified as viral DNA, derived from viruses that had previously infected the bacteria.

It was then found that close to the CRISPR sequences, genes were located coding for CRISPR-associated proteins (Cas), which have nuclease activity. Together with small guide RNAs (crRNAs) which have been transcribed from the CRISPR locus, one or more Cas proteins form ribonucleoprotein targeting complexes, with each contain a single guide sequence. The Cas nuclease (usually Cas9) then cleaves the target DNA, marked for degradation by base-pairing with the crRNA.

Please note that security procedures in place at BSB require all attendees to register in advance and you will need to show valid personal ID (Belgian ID card, Passport or equivalent) to gain access to the BSB site. To reserve your seat(s), or to obtain more information, please contact Becki, the RSC Belgium section secretary, via email: rscbelgium@gmail.com.