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CRISPR-Based Map Ties Every Human Gene to Its Function

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Data for a new gene-function map are available for other scientists to use. “It’s a big resource in the way the human genome is a big resource, in that you can go in and do discovery-based research,” says MIT's Jonathan Weissman.

Credit: Jen Cook-Chrysos/Whitehead Institute

A group of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Princeton University, and biotechnology company 10x Genomics have published the first comprehensive functional map of genes expressed in human cells.

The Perturb-seq map was derived from CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing, which introduces genetic changes in cells, then applies single-cell RNA sequencing to record data about RNAs yielded by a given change.

The researchers scaled up the technique to encompass the full human genome; MIT's Jonathan Weissman used human blood cancer cell lines and noncancerous retinal cells to conduct Perturb-seq across 2.5 million-plus cells, and constructed a map linking genotypes to phenotypes.

From MIT News
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