With the announcement today that Mammoth Biosciences [mammoth.bio] has received the exclusive license from the University of California, Berkeley to the new CRISPR protein Cas14, the company now has the last piece of its diagnostics toolkit in place.
Cas14 is a newly discovered protein from the lab of Jennifer Doudna, a pioneer in gene-editing research and a member of the first research team to identify and unlock the power of CRISPR technology. Doudna and Mammoth Biosciences co-founder Lucas Harrington were part of the team of researchers to identify the new Cas14 protein, which can identify single-stranded DNA. The journal Science published their findings [sciencemag.org] [DOI: 10.1126/science.aav4294] [DX [doi.org]] in October 2018.
"With the addition of this protein that is DNA binding and target single strands, it really means we can target any nucleic acid," says Mammoth chief executive Trevor Martin. "It's an extension of the toolbox." The licensing deal moves Mammoth one step closer toward its goal of low-cost, in-home molecular diagnostics for any illness. "The idea is we want to make this test so affordable that you can imagine going down to your CVS or Walgreens so you can bring this access to molecular level information [to questions like] if my kid has strep or flu before dropping them off to school."
See also: CRISPR-Cas14: a family of small DNA-targeting enzymes enabling high-fidelity SNP genotyping [addgene.org]
Related (all involving Dr. Jennifer Doudna [doudnalab.org]): The Rapid Rise of CRISPR [soylentnews.org]
Compact CRISPR Systems Found in Some of World's Smallest Microbes [soylentnews.org]
Nonviral CRISPR-Gold Editing Technique Fixes Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Mutation in Mice [soylentnews.org]
CRISPR Used to Cure Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in Dogs... by Further Damaging DNA [soylentnews.org]
CasX Protein Works for Gene Editing in Bacterial and Human Cells [soylentnews.org]