Research Roundup (Fall ’15, Finals)


Every other week our Research Editor highlights a few of the latest headlines in UCSD Biology news and faculty at UC San Diego. If you find an engaging science article, share it with us on our Facebook page and your highlight may just be featured!

 

Hey everyone! Sorry about the hiatus in Research Roundups, but they’re back and better than ever. This time around, Research Roundups will be focusing on research done at UCSD as well as to honor faculty here at UCSD who have done and are doing some amazing things. We also round up some major discoveries elsewhere in science, so if you have an article about what’s going on here at UCSD or even somewhere else, let us know on our Facebook page.

 

UCSD IN THE NEWS

 

CRISPR/CAS9 GETS A SYNTHETIC UPGRADE
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS)

 

“CRISPR/Cas9” is a system that molecular biologists use to edit genomic DNA, a technique originally adapted from a bacteria’s immune system.  It has only been recently discovered for its translational research use (Jinek et al, 2012). Since then, the technology and research into this methodology has exploded because of its variety of uses. In this publication in Nature, UCSD Post-doctoral fellow Dr. Moira A. McMahon, and Departmental Chair of Cellular and Molecular Medicine Dr. Don Cleveland with ISIS Pharmaceuticals in Carlsbad, CA sought out to find a more efficient and diverse application of the CRISPR/Cas9 system.  Their findings detail a synthetic CRISPR RNA (scrRNA) that can match and even surpass the efficiency of the original CRISPR/Cas9 system. During their experiment, the researchers experimentally add and remove specific functional groups on the scrRNAs and related CRISPR/Cas9 reagents that increase the success rate of the CRISPR technique. What this means for us is that, going forward, this powerful new editing technique has the possibility to be quicker, cheaper, and more accessible to genetic researchers across the scientific world.

 

PROPS TO THE PROF

 

CONGRATULATIONS DR. KIMBERLY COOPER
Division of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California- San Diego

 

Dr. Kimberly Cooper at the Division of Cell and Developmental Biology started her UCSD career in 2013, and in October of this year she received the Packard Foundation Fellowship.  The Fellowship is only awarded to 18 early-career scientists in the world every year, and grants them $875,000 over five years to do their proposed research. Dr. Cooper is interested in using the three-toed Gerboa to emulate mammalian limb evolution systems. You can check out her most recent publication about the phylogeny of these Gerboas. Congratulations Dr. Kimberly Cooper!

 

ELSEWHERE IN SCIENCE

 

VINCENT THE CAT HAS A NEW PEP IN HIS STEP
IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY

 

Vincent the cat did not have any hind legs when found and rescued.  At Iowa State University, a team led by Dr. Mary Bergh in coalition with BioMedtrix planned a way to restore Vincent’s leg use through the use of prosthetics. Slowly lengthening the prosthetics over time, Vincent has more and more range of motion with his new hind legs, and has his best shot at a normal lifestyle.  Check out a video about Vincent’s procedure below:

Thanks for reading- See you in Winter Quarter and best of luck on your finals!

Best,

Rahul Nachnani
Research Editor
Saltman Quarterly 2015-16

 



About

Rahul is a junior biology student with a punny sense of humor and a strange affinity for geekyness who tries to educate himself and his peers and have a great time while doing it.