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Newsletter June 2015

News: Disruptive CRISPR gene therapy is 150 times cheaper than zinc fingers and CRISPR is faster and more precise
Biologists have long been able to edit genomes with molecular tools. About ten years ago, they became excited by enzymes called zinc finger nucleases that promised to do this accurately and efficiently. But zinc fingers, which cost US$5,000 or more to order, were not widely adopted because they are difficult to engineer and expensive, says James Haber, a molecular biologist at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. CRISPR works differently: it relies on an enzyme called Cas9 that uses a guide RNA molecule to home in on its target DNA, then edits the DNA to disrupt genes or insert desired sequences. Researchers often need to order only the RNA fragment; the other components can be bought off the shelf. Total cost: as little as $30. “That effectively democratized the technology so that everyone is using it,” says Haber. “It's a huge revolution.”

- 13 - 16 June 2015, 9th International Conference on Oncolytic Virus Therapeutics, Boston, MA
- 21 - 26 June 2015, Gordon Research Conference: Virusses & Cells, Girona, Spain
- 20 – 21 July 2015, XIII International Conference on Cell and Gene Therapy, Paris, France
- 24 – 26 July 2015, The 21th Annual Meeting of the Japan Society of Gene Therapy (JSGT), Osaka, Japan
- 10 – 12 August 2015, 4th International Conference and Exhibition on Cell & Gene Therapy, London, UK
- 17 – 20 September 2015, XXIII Congress of the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ESGCT) and the Finnish Society of Gene Therapy, Helsinki, Finland
- 29 – 30 September 2015, Cell & Gene Therapy Europe, Barcelona, Spain
- 12 – 13 October 2015, 3rd Cancer Vaccines and Gene Therapy Meeting, Malvern, PA
- 4 – 6 November 2015, 8th Congress of the Spanish Society of Gene (SETGyC) and Cell Therapy, San Sebastian, Spain
- 4 – 6 November 2015, ATMP 2015 - Issues and Challenges from Bench to Bedsite, Tutzing, Germany
- 18 – 20 November 2015, 14th Annual Gene Therapy Symposium for Heart, Lung, and Blood Diseases, Sonoma, CA
- 9 - 11 March 2016, French Society of Cell and Gene Therapy (SFTCG) Annual Congress, Marseille, France
- 4 - 7 May 2016, American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) 19th Annual Meeting, Washington, DC
- 25 – 26 July 2016, XIV International Conference on Cell and Gene Therapy, Paris, France
- 28 – 30 July 2016, The 22th Annual Meeting of the Japan Society of Gene Therapy (JSGT), Venue to be determined, Japan
- 18 – 21 October 2016, XXIV Congress of the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ESGCT) and the International Society for Stem Cell Research, Florence, Italy


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