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Dan Hively
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Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most!
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most!

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The Comet, The Owl, and The Galaxy
Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak poses for a Messier moment in this telescopic snapshot from March 21. In fact it shares the 1 degree wide field-of-view with two well-known entries in the 18th century comet-hunting astronomer's famous catalog. Sweeping through northern springtime skies just below the Big Dipper, the faint greenish comet was about 75 light-seconds from our fair planet. Dusty, edge-on spiral galaxy Messier 108 (bottom center) is more like 45 million light-years away. At upper right, the planetary nebula with an aging but intensely hot central star, the owlish Messier 97 is only about 12 thousand light-years distant though, still well within our own Milky Way galaxy. Named for its discoverer and re-discoverers, this faint periodic comet was first sighted in 1858 and not again until 1907 and 1951. Matching orbit calculations indicated that the same comet had been observed at widely separated times. Nearing its best apparition and closest approach to Earth in over 100 years on April 1, comet 41P orbits the Sun with a period of about 5.4 years.

Image Credit & Copyright: Barry Riu
Release Date: March 24, 2017

+Astronomy Picture of the Day (APoD)

#NASA #Astronomy #Science #Space #Comet #Comet41PTuttleGiacobiniKresak #Galaxy #Spiral #Messier108 #Nebula #Planetary #Messier97 #MilkyWay #Astrophotography #STEM #Education #APoD
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Guess who's back? Back again? Pelagic red crabs are back—tell a friend!

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NASA Hubble Space Telescope Picture of Star V-838
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The 7 circles of #developer hell. Any you relate with? You may want to click to enlarge this one.
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#Genome Editing: Pressing the «Delete» Button on #DNA - Researchers studying non-coding DNA have been particularly excited about the discovery of CRISPR-Cas9 because it can be used as a powerful tool for studying non-coding DNA for the first time. Prof Rory Johnson, former Staff Scientist at the Computational Biology of RNA Processing laboratory of the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona, Spain and now group leader at the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) RNA&Disease and Department of Clinical Research of the University of Bern, recently created a tool based on CRISPR-Cas9, called «DECKO», which can be used to delete any desired piece of non-coding DNA. The unique advantage of DECKO is that it uses two individual sgRNAs, acting like two molecular scissors that snip out a piece of DNA. Numerous researchers worldwide have adopted this approach, attracted by its simplicity and effectiveness.

While working on DECKO, Johnson and colleagues at the Guigo’s laboratory realised that no software was available for designing the pairs of sgRNAs that are required, meaning that designing deletion experiments was time-consuming. To overcome this, the Masters student Carlos Pulido designed a software pipeline called CRISPETa. They were assisted by a team of laboratory researchers including co-first authors of this paper Estel Aparicio and Carme Arnan, who carried out experiments to validate the software’s predictions.

CRISPETa is a powerful and flexible solution for designing CRISPR deletion experiments. The user tells CRISPETa what region they wish to delete, and the software returns a set of optimised pairs of sgRNAs that can directly be used by experimental researchers. One of the key features is that it can create designs at high scales, with future screening experiments in mind. Importantly, CRISPETa is designed for use by non-experts, and is available in a user friendly website, making CRISPR deletion available to the widest possible number of scientific and biomedical researchers.

In the CRISPETa study, the researchers also introduce a new version of DECKO, which is cheaper and faster than the previous one. The researchers showed that CRISPETa designs efficiently delete their desired targets in human cells. Most importantly, in those regions that give rise to RNA molecules, the researchers showed that the RNA molecules also carry the deletion.

CRISPETa will be useful for scientific researchers, from even the most modest experimental laboratory. These users may, for example, delete a suspected functional region of non-coding DNA, and test the outcome on cellular or molecular activity. This software will also be potentially valuable for groups aiming to utilise CRISPR deletion for therapeutic purposes, by for example, deleting a region of non-coding DNA that is suspected to cause a disease state. Therefore CRISPETa will be a valuable tool for the hundreds of research teams worldwide who are using CRISPR deletion.

«We hope that this new software tool will allow the greatest possible number of researchers to harness the power of CRISPR deletion in their research», says Carlos Pulido, the student who wrote the CRISPETa software.

«Ultimately, we expect that CRISPR deletion and other genome engineering tools to lead to a revolution in our ability to understand the genomic basis of disease, particularly in the 99% of DNA that does not encode proteins. Apart from being used as a basic research tool, CRISPR may even be used in the future as a powerful therapeutic to reverse disease-causing mutations», adds Rory Johnson.

This study was published in PLOS Computational Biology. It was mainly financially supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science, the Catalan Government, The European Reserarch Council at the European Comission under the FP7, the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health, and partially funded by the SNF through the «RNA & Disease» NCCR, led by the University of Bern.
>>> read full article here :
http://www.crg.eu/en/news/genome-editing-pressing-%C2%ABdelete%C2%BB-button-dna
>>> Paper : Scalable Design of Paired CRISPR Guide RNAs for Genomic Deletion , http://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article?id=10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005341


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