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.
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!.
Posters will be on display in the exhibition area throughout the duration of the meeting. Poster boards are 1.00m wide x 2.00m high and we recommend posters do not exceed 1.50m in length. A supply of Velcro tabs will be available at the venue. No screws or double-sided adhesive tape will be allowed due to the damage they can cause to the boards. All presented Posters at the TT2014 meeting will be entitled to the Best Poster Awards, generously sponsored by Charles River.
A limited number of abstract submissions will be selected and invited to present their findings in the form of a short oral presentation within the main meeting program. Should you be interested in being considered to speak at the meeting please select the appropriate option when submitting your abstract.
Abstracts are invited on all aspects of Transgenic Technologies, including the conference themes as listed below:
New technologies in animal transgenesis
Embryo stem cells
Target nucleases or Editing nucleases (ZFNs, TALENs, CRISPRs)
Imaging with transgenic animals
Mouse models of human disease
Zebrafish models of human disease and transgenesis
The first weeks of 2014 have generated interesting technical advances in animal transgenesis, and prestigious ISTT members have been involved in them. If this is just a sample of what will come next it would seem appropriate to call this starting 2014 year the wonder year. This past week we knew about a new manner for inducing pluripotency, simply exposing somatic cells to a low pH, using a physical stimulus, transiently applied during a short period of time. This acidic exposure appears to trigger the reprogramming steps required to convert somatic into fully capable pluripotent cells, sustenting the generation of germ-line transmitting chimeras. Furthermore, these STAP (Stimulus-Triggered Acquisition of Pluripotency) cells appear to be able to contribute to both the embryonic and extra-embryonic lineages, thus constituting a unique status of pluripotency. These awesome two papers, by Haruko Obokata and collaborators, have been published in Nature, and include as co-author in one and senior corresponding author in the other, ISTT memberTeruhiko Wakayama, the first scientist awarded the ISTT Prize.
Also last week we learnt about the first non-human knockout primates. A group of Chinese scientists (Yuyu Niu and collaborators), including the most prestigious centres involved in the generation of animal models in China, published a paper in Cell where they reported a new application for the powerful and novel CRISPR-Cas technology to produce mutant monkeys. They generated, for the first time, twin cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) with two targeted loci, Ppar-g and Rag1, in one single step. This collaborative work included as co-authors ISTT member and ISTT Prize awarded scientist Qi Zhou, as well as Xiaoyang Zhao, who received the first ISTT Young Investigator Award. This achievement, which was not possible to date with standard technologies, illustrates the unlimited power of the CRISPR-Cas system.
We first learnt about the CRISPR-Cas system, as the responsible for adaptative bacterial immunity, in mid 2012. But it was not until last year, 2013, when the molecular reagents become amenable and applicable for genome editing in animal cells and embryos, for the generation of a variety of genetically-modified animals, including all sorts of transgenic and mutant types, with an explosion of papers and applications. Today, 1st February 2014, as many as 88 papers appear listed in PubMed combining “CRISPR genome editing”. The amazing simplicity of this sytem, and the ease by which anyone can start using this technology in the lab, simply obtaining the two required plasmids (carrying the RNA guide, where the target homologous sequence must be engineered, and the Cas9 nuclease) from diverse providers, including Addgene, explains why the CRIRPR-Cas technology is now being considered a true revolution in our field, in animal transgenesis.