Prime editing – a cutting edge new development in genomic engineering

Most biologists would agree that the most extraordinary development of the 21st century has been the discovery and manipulation of the CRISPR/Cas9 method of gene editing – a natural defence mechanism that bacteria use to defend against viral infection which scientists have hijacked to modify the DNA sequence of living cells. Continue reading Prime editing – a cutting edge new development in genomic engineering

The hidden power of type III CRISPR immunity: how a prokaryote avoids an autoimmune catastrophe

This article discusses the events that follow a viral infection and reveals how an extended period of self-targeting, a side-effect that is otherwise associated with immunity, is minimised so as to avoid cell death. Continue reading The hidden power of type III CRISPR immunity: how a prokaryote avoids an autoimmune catastrophe

PhD reflections: lessons and advice

By Ralitsa Madsen, Institute of Metabolic Science, Cambridge, UK

As a driven PhD student who is dedicating most of my waking hours to a very ambitious project, I often need to justify my choice to others. Wouldn’t I be set up for success with fewer hours in the lab, less scientific reading and a bit more faith in my own talent? My usual response is to ask the following question: how do elite athletes succeed?

Continue reading PhD reflections: lessons and advice