Exciting change is on the way! Please join us at nsf.gov for the latest news on NSF-funded research. While the NSF Science360 page and daily newsletter have now been retired, there’s much happening at nsf.gov. You’ll find current research news on the homepage and much more to explore throughout the site. Best of all, we’ve begun to build a brand-new website that will bring together news, social media, multimedia and more in a way that offers visitors a rich, rewarding, user-friendly experience.

Want to continue to receive email updates on the latest NSF research news and multimedia content? On September 23rd we’ll begin sending those updates via GovDelivery. If you’d prefer not to receive them, please unsubscribe now from Science360 News and your email address will not be moved into the new system.

Thanks so much for being part of the NSF Science360 News Service community. We hope you’ll stay with us during this transition so that we can continue to share the many ways NSF-funded research is advancing knowledge that transforms our future.

For additional information, please contact us at NewsTravels@nsf.gov

Top Story

CRISPR/Cas9 silences gene associated with high cholesterol

Biomedical engineers have used a CRISPR/Cas9 genetic engineering technique to turn off a gene that regulates cholesterol levels in adult mice, leading to reduced blood cholesterol levels and gene repression lasting for six months after a single treatment. This marks the first time researchers have delivered CRISPR/Cas9 repressors for targeted therapeutic gene silencing in adult animal models. The CRISPR/Cas9 system is based on an antiviral defense mechanism in bacteria in which the Cas9 enzyme recognizes the viral DNA sequences of previous infections and cuts up invading DNA during re-infection. Researchers have engineered the CRISPR/Cas9 system to not only locate and cut specific sequences of DNA, but to also turn on or off the expression of targeted genes without making permanent changes to the DNA sequence. While this CRISPR/Cas9 repressor technique has emerged as a robust tool for disrupting gene regulation in cell culture models, it had not yet been adapted for delivery to adult animals for applications such as gene therapy. As they continue the research, the researchers hope to gather more information to better understand the immune response against Cas9 and stability of epigenetic modulation.

Visit Website | Image credit: Duke University, Pratt School of Engineering