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September 24th, 2014
7:00-8:30 PM

Schlafly Bottleworks, Maplewood, MO

A CRISPR Look at Genome Engineering

Moderated by: Cynthia Wichelman, M.D.

Shondra Miller, Ph.D.

The term “genome engineering” can conjure up a vast array of images and emotions. Visions of dinosaurs gone wild in the film Jurassic Park evoke caution and even terror, and the thought of genomic engineering for genetic “enhancement”—e.g., choosing your child's eye color—is scary and crosses many ethical boundaries. The real potential for genome editing though is in accelerating scientific discovery and potentially saving lives. Recent advances in genome editing techniques allow scientists to modify the genome in a test tube, like editors modify sentences of text in a book. Genome engineering uses nucleases or “genomic scissors” to create breaks in DNA. Such breaks normally act as signals to the cell that something is wrong and trigger the natural repair of the breaks. Scientists can now harness the process of creating targeted DNA breaks—and the subsequent repair—to create user-defined genetic modifications. Several types of nucleases have been used for genome editing in past decades, but with limited success. Recent advances in the class of RNA-guided endonucleases known as CRISPR-associated (“Cas”) nucleases from the bacterial adaptive immune system facilitate accurate targeting of virtually any genomic location using a short RNA guide sequence. We'll learn about and discuss the real potential for genome engineering using CRISPR/Cas, from the bench to the bedside.

Science On Tap highlighted on St. Louis Public Radio and Voice of America!

Science On Tap is a place where, for the price of a beverage, anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. Meetings take place outside a traditional academic context, in the Crown Room at Schlafly Bottleworks.

Meetings are held on the last Wednesday of the month during the academic year, usually from 7:00 - 8:30 PM. The standard format is as follows: about 45 minutes of presentation, followed by discussion until 8:30 PM. Seating is limited to the first 100 people.  No reservations accepted.

Crown Room at the Schlafly Bottleworks
7260 Southwest Ave.
Maplewood, MO 63143
(314) 241-2337

Register to receive e-mail announcements of future Science On Tap events.

Interested in learning about medicine? Check out Washington University's Mini-Medical School!

For more information: e-mail scienceontap@wustl.edu
or call (314) 935-9495

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