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CRISPR 2016 In Review

CRIPSR was first remarked on in 1987 by Yoshiizumi Ishino, Osaka University.  It wasn’t until 2002, fifteen years later that it’s name was coined, Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats.  Ten years after that in 2012, Doudna and Charpentier changed the game by tweaking CRISPR, using it to edit and engineer genomes.  In the subsequent 4 years, the technology has taken off.

Below are a few events and findings that have happened in 2016:


January 2016  Over 200 new papers on CRISPR were submitted to PubMed, more than five papers every day.

January 2016  Francis Crick Institute in London request permission to modify human embryos.

January 14, 2016 – Crystal Structure solved when Cas9 is set to cut targeted DNA.

March 2016 – University of Missouri engineers resistance to Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSV) in pigs, an infection that negatively costing $600 million annually.

May 2016  Chicken Germ Lines edited successfully with CRISPR

June 21, 2016  CRIPR passed safety reviews to use in the fight against cancer by engineering immune cells – 18 cancer patients will have their T-Cells removed and edited.

June 2016  95% of Latent Herpes Virus destroyed in monkey and human cell lines.

July 25, 2016  The Biological Weapons Convention discusses how CRISPR gene editing falls in the ban of biological and chemical weapons.

August 2016  Over $15 million spent and climbing to date in CRISPR patent disputes.

September 2016  CRISPR yields Cucumbers resistant to common cucumber viruses – a large step in fighting plant viruses that affecting crop yield.

September 2016  1000 new mouse lines aimed to be designed by the Jackson Laboratory

October 28, 2016  CRISPR gene-editing was first tested in a person at West China Hospital in Chengdu.

October 2016  6 new gene targets identified related to HIV infection.

November 2016  Sickle Cell Treatment Planned – Dr. Matthew Poreus of Stanford approaches the FDA. – Reports in October from UC Berkeley claims 25% correction of cells from sickle cell patients.

November 18, 2016  CRISPR restores blind rat’s partial vision.

December 6, 2016  Oral arguments between University of California, Berkeley and the Broad Institute were given – continuing one of the CRISPR patent disputes.

December 12, 2016  CRISPR claims further disputed as documents released revealing Feng Zhang conceptualized using CRISPR in February 2011, over a year before Doudna.


Related Articles:

The CRISPR Pioneers 

What is CRISPR-Cas9?

CRISPR Part 1: A Brief history of CRISPR


CRISPR gene-editing tested

“Heroes of CRISPR” Disputed

CRISPR Timeline

Engineering a Cas9 TevI fusion for generation of precise deletions