Science 2 min read

Researchers use CRISPR Technology to Detect Cancer

skeeze / Pixabay

skeeze / Pixabay

A team of researchers from Yale University recently developed a new tool that can identify cancer-spreading genes in humans. The scientists utilized CRISPR technology to devise a method of identifying complex genetic interactions that cause cancer to spread.

To date, 90 percent of cancer deaths are caused by the unique ability of cancer tumors to metastasize in distant parts of the body. According to Sidi Chen, one of the senior authors of the study:

“Metastasis is a complicated process; it is not like one gene controls everything. There are hundreds of thousands of potential genetic interactions, and it has been hard to know which ones are most important.”

Using CRISPR Technology to Create a Library of Unique Constructs

With the help of CRISPR gene editing technology, Chen and his colleagues developed a library containing almost 12,000 unique constructs or gene-knocking DNA in cells aimed at 325 pairs of genes typically affected by metastasis in human cancers. The team said that most of these mutant gene pairings cause aggressive metastasis of tumors in mice models.

Ryan Chow, one of the co-authors of the study, added:

“With our approach, we were able to pinpoint specific mutation combinations that drive metastasis. This is an important step toward understanding the complex genetic interactions underlying cancer progression.”

The team believes that their technology would one day allow scientists to study combinations of metastasis-linked genes from individual patients and even dissect the complex interactions of about three to four of the genes at the same time. The Yales researchers hope that other scientists will be able to devise new techniques to prevent the spread of different kinds of cancers using their tool.

Read More: Researchers Develop Ovarian Cancer-Predicting AI System

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Chelle is the Product Management Lead at INK. She's an experienced SEO professional as well as UX researcher and designer. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with her family and friends.

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