CRISPR-Cas resources at the ISTT web site

CRISPR-Cas resources at the ISTT web site. Illustration from: CRISPR-Cas technology and applications (video by Le Cong from Feng Zhang's lab at MIT/BROAD institute. This video has been made possible thanks to Addgene)
CRISPR-Cas resources at the ISTT web site. Illustration from: CRISPR-Cas technology and applications (video by Le Cong from Feng Zhang’s lab at MIT/BROAD institute. This video has been made possible thanks to Addgene)

CRISPR-Cas strategies are discussed and applied everywhere for the targeted modification of genomes. Every day a new lab is considering using CRISPR-Cas for the generation of their subsequent animal mutants. There are many papers regularly being published on this subject and a number of excellent online resources have been prepared by several labs actively working in this field. For newcomers/beginners this might seem (and it is) a lot of information, potentially difficult to digest.

In this regard, from the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT), we have prepared a simple web page containing a selection of CRISPR-Cas resources and related information, for anyone willing to start using these technologies. Please, feel free to suggest any additional CRISPR-Cas resources you might be aware/using/have developed, which might be worth including in these web pages. Thanks.

In particular, we wish to thank Feng Zhang (MIT/BROAD) and his lab for their efforts, videos (such as this video from Le Cong, PhD, illustrating this post, this video has been made possible thanks to Addgene, and is part of this series), online desing tools, protocols, etc… disseminating these technologies. Feng Zhang will receive the third ISTT Young Investigator Award and will attend the TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh.

Highlights of the TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh: a conference you can’t miss!

The TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh (6-8 October 2014)
The TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh (6-8 October 2014)

This year’s ISTT main activity is the 12th Transgenic Technology conference, the TT2014 meeting, which will be held in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, on 6-8 October 2014, followed by a 2-day hands-on workshop on basic zebrafish transgenesis techniques. The ISTT promotes the TT meetings every 18 months, these being the most important activity of our Society. This year, the local Organizers and advisory committees, commanded by Douglas Strathdee, need to be praised for preparing a most appealing and interesting program, addressing hot topics, current and most up-to-date issues actively discussed nowadays by the transgenic animal community. Talks that will be presented by the most active and prestigious scientists in our field.

Why you shouldn’t miss the TT2014 meeting?

  • If you are interested in the new transgenic methods associated to nucleases (ZFNs, TALENs and CRISPRs-Cas9) there will be plenty of interesting talks where these new fantastic tools will be presented and discussed, directly by the key players in this rapidly-evolving field, including: Rudolf Jaenisch, William Skarnes, Angelika Schnieke, Kai Schönig, Ignacion Anegon, Pawel Pelczar, Francis Stewart, Keith Joung and Feng Zhang. And, most likely, these techniques will be referred and cited in many additional talks too, including the round table discussion about the future of transgenic core facilities, chaired by James Bussell.
  • If you are interested in ES cell biology and in innovative uses of ES cells and associated technologies there will be unique talks delivered by Jos Jonkers, Austin Smith, Ian Chambers, Janet Rossant and Alex Joyner
  • If you are interested in phenotyping your mouse animal models there will be fantastic talks delivered by Jacqueline White, Stephen Murray, David Adams, Daniel Murphy, Anna-Katerina Hadjatonakis and Vasilis Ntziachristos
  • If you are interested in non-rodent, large mammals and birds, animal models there will be great talks by James Murray, Angelika Schnieke, Mike McGrew and Adrian Shermann
  • If you are interested in rats there will be compelling talks by Kai Schönig and Ignacio Anegon
  • If you are interested in zebrafish animal models there will be fascinating talks by Stephen Ekker, Koichi Kawakami, Keith Joung and Elizabeth Patton
  • If you are interested in animal welfare and 3Rs, in the best use of our laboratory animals, there will be captivating talks by Peter Hohenstein, Sara Wells and Jan-Bas Prins.

Therefore, there will be really engaging talks interesting to everyone in our field. This is why you shouldn’t miss this great and unique opportunity!.

Register now for the TT2014 meeting. Submission of abstracts will be accepted up to June 30. Early-Bird registration at reduced fees will be promoted up to July 31. ISTT members are entitled to reduced fee registration.

See you all in Edinburgh in October!


We are seeking your input for the Round Table Discussion at the TT2014 meeting

We are seeking your input for the Round Table Discussion at the TT2014 meeting
We are seeking your input for the Round Table Discussion at the TT2014 meeting

We are seeking your input for the next ISTT meeting, TT2014, Round Table Discussion. To set the scene, we would like to inform you, on behalf of the Organizing Committee of the TT2014, about a new update in the scientific program for this meeting, regarding the traditional round-table discussion on “How to Run a Transgenic Unit? that is regularly scheduled at every single TT meeting. This is one of our fundamental ISTT-related activities, run by and meant for ISTT members.

In Edinburgh, the TT2014 Organizers, kindly asked ISTT member James Bussell (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK) to chair this round table, and to lead the discussion entitled “The Future of Transgenic Core Facilities“. James Bussell has invited the following four ISTT members as panelists, representing new and well-established transgenic facilities, from both academic and private institutions.

Inken Beck, Institute of Molecular Genetics, Prague, Czech Republic
Lynn Doglio, Feinberg School , Northwestern University, Chicago, USA
Sarah Johnson, MRC NIMR, Mill Hill, London, UK
Xin Rairdan, Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, California, USA

At the TT2014 meeting, these panelists will first prepare a brief presentation on the topic, with their view on the subject to be discussed and thereafter will be happy to respond to any questions or comments from the audience. In this regard, and in order to promote efficient discussion, we would like to encourage you, as ISTT members, to send James Bussell potential questions or issues you would like to hear discussed in this round table, regarding the future of transgenic facilities. Thanks in advance.

Some initial thoughts for this round table:

What does the future of our GA facilities look like. We have asked 4 facilities of varying size and funding to share their outlook on trends that will affect them in the medium and long term and would likely include areas such as production, supply and use of GA animals. We are seeing the continual evolution of the technologies surrounding our field with the ability to create mutations and editing of the genome becoming accessible to all facilities who want to invest in the technologies. Many components of the process are now common place and utilised throughout the various stages of a colonies life. For example implantation of embryos is used for rederivation of embryos, reimplantation of thawed cryopreserved stocks etc. However as per the ‘Bred but not used‘ meeting sponsored by the Dutch Government, questions around efficiency, wastage and good practice remain to be answered. Over the past years we have seen global consortia target the mouse genome via ES cells making the resources available to requesters. Furthermore National and International funding bodies such as the NIH and the EU have funded large scale production and phenotyping programs with the aim of creating a knockout for every protein coding gene. We now see new technologies that again can speed up access and refine the ability to edit the genome applying very discreet or multiple mutations to the mouse and other species where early stage embryos can be utilised.

From the panel of presenters perspective we seek their opinion on what does the future look like to them.

Some initial questions that could be posed :

• Should we be looking to large production centres to create and distribute the colonies.
• Could more dedicated facilities better use their funds by removing elements of their production or archiving.
• Would this cause a loss of key skills from within the community.
• If so how should knowledge be shared or disseminated.
• How do commercial groups see their place within the community.
• If the genome editing technologies become so accessible do we need large scale consortia.
• How do researchers engage with funding bodies to access support for their research.

Thanks in advance for providing your questions or items for discussion (send the questions/items for discussion to: James Bussell) .

See you all in Edinburgh!