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New CRISPR Tool Unlocks Potential to Combat Infectious Diseases

Scientists from Helmholtz Munich and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) devised a new CRISPR tool called Cas13d-NCS, which allows CRISPR RNA molecules to move to the cytoplasm and make it highly effective for neutralizing RNA viruses. The findings of their study are reported in Cell Discovery. RNA viruses like SARS-CoV-2 continue to become a global threat due to its increasing number of cases.

 

ISAAA April 17, 2024

 

Scientists from Helmholtz Munich and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) devised a new CRISPR tool called Cas13d-NCS, which allows CRISPR RNA molecules to move to the cytoplasm and make it highly effective for neutralizing RNA viruses. The findings of their study are reported in Cell Discovery.

 

RNA viruses like SARS-CoV-2 continue to become a global threat due to its increasing number of cases. Thus, researchers focus on enhancing antiviral strategies to fight against these infectious diseases. CRISPR-Cas13 shows great promise in targeting RNAs but faces limitations in the cytoplasm of cells, where many RNA viruses replicate.

 

Hence, scientists developed Cas13d-NCS, a groundbreaking system capable of transporting nuclear CRISPR RNAs into the cytosol for precise RNA modifications. This novel approach demonstrates effectiveness in breaking down mRNA targets and neutralizing self-replicating RNA. “This breakthrough in antiviral development with Cas13d-NCS marks a pivotal moment in our ongoing battle against RNA viruses,” says Prof. Wolfgang Wurst, coordinator of the study.

 

For more information, read the press release from Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres or read the journal article from Cell Discovery.

 

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