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!


Submit your abstract(s) to the TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh: 30 June

Submit your abstract(s) to the TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh: 30 June
Submit your abstract(s) to the TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh: 30 June

The submission of abstracts for the 12th Transgenic Technology (TT2014) meeting, to be held in Edinburgh (Scotland, UK), on 6-8 October, is OPEN. All TT2014 participants are encouraged to submit their work as an abstract for poster presentation at the TT2014 meeting. Authors are requested to submit an abstract with the following requirements: Title (max. 25 words), Name authors and affiliations (first author is the presenting author), and, Text of the communication (max. 400 words). Abstracts should be submitted no later than June 30, 2014. Accepted abstracts will be published in the scientific journal Transgenic Research (Springer), to which the ISTT is associated.

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.

Oral Presentations
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)
  • Large-scale phenotyping
  • Animal Biotechnology
  • Imaging with transgenic animals
  • Mouse models of human disease
  • Zebrafish models of human disease and transgenesis
  • Animal ethics and welfare

New ways of inducing pluripotency and additional applications for the CRISPR-Cas system

The CRISPR-Cas system for genome editing was launched in 2013 for applications in animal transgenesis and continues advancing in 2014
The CRISPR-Cas system for genome editing was launched in 2013 for applications in animal transgenesis and continues advancing in 2014

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 member Teruhiko 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.