PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
FREE PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Tweaking corn kernels with CRISPR

Tweaking corn kernels with CRISPR
2021-02-22
(Press-News.org) Corn--or maize--has changed over thousands of years from weedy plants that make ears with less than a dozen kernels to the cobs packed with hundreds of juicy kernels that we see on farms today. Powerful DNA-editing techniques such as CRISPR can speed up that process. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) Professor David Jackson and his postdoctoral fellow Lei Liu collaborated with University of Massachusetts Amherst Associate Professor Madelaine Bartlett to use this highly specific technique to tinker with corn kernel numbers. Jackson's lab is one of the first to apply CRISPR to corn's very complex genome.

DNA is divided into two parts: the gene and the regulatory regions that promote or suppress gene activity. Jackson says:

"A lot of people were using CRISPR in a very simple sense just to disrupt genes completely, to knock out the gene. But we came up with this new idea to CRISPR the promoter regions that turn the gene on. And that is what gives this very interesting result where we can get the variation in traits that we need in agriculture."

Jackson wanted to increase the number of kernels per cob. The corn kernel development pathway includes genes that promote stem cell growth and differentiation into distinct plant organs. Jackson and Liu focused on CLEs, a family of genes that act as a brake to stop stem cell growth. But the corn genome is complex. The CLE family contains almost 50 related genes, with promoter regions that vary from gene to gene. What parts are most important for kernel production? Liu says:

"So we basically randomly targeted the promoter region: we have no idea which part of the promoter is important. So probably the next step, we will focus more on figuring out which part of the promoter is critical. And, then we probably will make our promoter CRISPR more efficient. We can get a better allele which can produce more grain yield or ear size."

Cereal crops like maize are a major source of food for humans and feed for livestock. Jackson and Liu hope their new CRISPR strategy will increase crop yield per acre and make agriculture more sustainable.

INFORMATION:


[Attachments] See images for this press release:
Tweaking corn kernels with CRISPR

ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Ghost particle from shredded star reveals cosmic particle accelerator

Ghost particle from shredded star reveals cosmic particle accelerator
2021-02-22
Tracing back a ghostly particle to a shredded star, scientists have uncovered a gigantic cosmic particle accelerator. The subatomic particle, called a neutrino, was hurled towards Earth after the doomed star came too close to the supermassive black hole at the centre of its home galaxy and was ripped apart by the black hole's colossal gravity. It is the first particle that can be traced back to such a 'tidal disruption event' (TDE) and provides evidence that these little understood cosmic catastrophes can be powerful natural particle accelerators, as the team led by DESY scientist Robert Stein reports in the journal Nature Astronomy. The observations also demonstrate the power of exploring the cosmos via ...

'Mini brain' organoids grown in lab mature much like infant brains

Mini brain organoids grown in lab mature much like infant brains
2021-02-22
A new study from UCLA and Stanford University researchers finds that three-dimensional human stem cell-derived 'mini brain' organoids can mature in a manner that is strikingly similar to human brain development. For the new study, published in Nature Neuroscience February 22, senior authors Dr. Daniel Geschwind of UCLA and Dr. Sergiu Pasca of Stanford University conducted extensive genetic analysis of organoids that had been grown for up to 20 months in a lab dish. They found that these 3D organoids follow an internal clock that guides their maturation in sync with the timeline of human development. "This is novel -- Until now, nobody has grown and characterized these organoids for this amount of time, nor shown they will recapitulate human brain development in a laboratory environment ...

New dating techniques reveal Australia's oldest known rock painting, and it's a kangaroo

2021-02-22
A two-metre-long painting of a kangaroo in Western Australia's Kimberley region has been identified as Australia's oldest intact rock painting. Using the radiocarbon dating of 27 mud wasp nests, collected from over and under 16 similar paintings, a University of Melbourne collaboration has put the painting at 17,500 and 17,100 years old. "This makes the painting Australia's oldest known in-situ painting," said Postdoctoral Researcher Dr Damien Finch who pioneered the exciting new radiocarbon technique. "This is a significant find as through these initial estimates, we can understand something of the ...

Association of timing of school closings, behavioral changes with evolution of COVID-19 pandemic in US

2021-02-22
What The Study Did: Using COVID-19 data, this observational study looked at what are the independent associations of voluntary behavioral change and legal restrictions, such as state-mandated school closings, with the subsequent spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. Authors: Frederick J. Zimmerman, Ph.D., of the Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA in Los Angeles, is the corresponding author. To access the embargoed study: Visit our For The Media website at this link https://media.jamanetwork.com/ (doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.6371) Editor's Note: The article includes ...

Scientists link star-shredding event to origins of universe's highest-energy particles

2021-02-22
A team of scientists has detected the presence of a high-energy neutrino--a particularly elusive particle--in the wake of a star's destruction as it is consumed by a black hole. This discovery, reported in the journal Nature Astronomy, sheds new light on the origins of Ultrahigh Energy Cosmic Rays--the highest energy particles in the Universe. The work, which included researchers from more than two dozen institutions, including New York University and Germany's DESY research center, focused on neutrinos--subatomic particles that are produced on Earth only in powerful ...

Trauma admissions during COVID-19 pandemic in LA county

2021-02-22
What The Study Did: Researchers examined changes in trauma admissions throughout Los Angeles County during the COVID-19 pandemic in California. Authors: Kazuhide Matsushima, M.D., of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, is the corresponding author. To access the embargoed study: Visit our For The Media website at this link https://media.jamanetwork.com/ (doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.1320) Editor's Note: The article includes funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, conflict of interest and financial disclosures, ...

New technique reveals switches in RNA

New technique reveals switches in RNA
2021-02-22
Scientists at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands), in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Torino (Italy), have developed a method to visualize and quantify alternative structures of RNA molecules. These alternative RNA 'shapes' can have important functional relevance in viruses and bacteria. The researchers used an algorithm to rapidly analyse large quantities of chemically modified RNA molecules and calculate how many differently folded conformations were present. This technique was used to identify a conserved structural switch in the ...

Patient page: Teen vaping

2021-02-22
What The Article Says: How parents can identify whether their teens are vaping, how to help prevent it, and what to do if their teen is addicted are discussed in this JAMA Pediatrics Patient Page. To access the embargoed study: Visit our For The Media website at this link https://media.jamanetwork.com/ (doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.6689) Editor's Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, conflict of interest and financial disclosures, and funding and support. INFORMATION: Media advisory: The full article is linked to this news release. Embed this link to provide your readers free access to the full-text article This link will be live at the embargo time https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.6689?guestAccessKey=8fe3a04c-4e0a-40f3-a883-916eaadb05bb&utm_source=For_The_Media&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=ftm_links&utm_content=tfl&utm_term=022221 ...

State legislation related to abortion services

2021-02-22
What The Study Did: This survey study looked at changes in abortion policies among states by examining legislation enacted between January 2017 and November 2020. Authors: Phillip M. Singer, Ph.D., of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, is the corresponding author. To access the embargoed study: Visit our For The Media website at this link https://media.jamanetwork.com/ (doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.8781) Editor's Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, conflict of interest and financial disclosures, and funding ...

Genomic insights into the origin of pre-historic populations in East Asia

Genomic insights into the origin of pre-historic populations in East Asia
2021-02-22
Diverse East Asians derive ancestry from a coastal expansion tens of thousands of years ago Researchers have long debated whether the peopling of East Asia by modern humans occurred mainly via a coastal or interior route. The answer is probably both. "Indigenous Andaman islanders of the Bay of Bengal, Indigenous Tibetans, ancient Taiwanese, and ancient and modern Japanese all derive ancestry from a deep shared lineage that split from other East Asian lineages more than 40,000 years ago," says David Reich, co-senior author of the study, who is a Professor of Genetics ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

A Canadian success story: world-first to treat Fabry disease with gene therapy

Chimpanzees and humans share overlapping territories

Allergy season starts earlier each year due to climate change and pollen transport

Study shows opioid use among US patients with knee osteoarthritis costs 14 billion dollars in societal costs

On the line: Watching nanoparticles get in shape

A-maze-ing pheasants have two ways of navigating

CAR T-cell therapy generates lasting remissions in patients with multiple myeloma

Fantastic voyage: Nanobodies could help CRISPR turn genes on and off

Baby mice have a skill that humans want - and this microchip might help us learn it

New discoveries on the containment of COVID-19 finds travel bans are of limited value

UM scientists achieve breakthrough in culturing corals and sea anemones cells

New shape-changing 4D materials hold promise for morphodynamic tissue engineering

Apollo rock samples capture key moments in the Moon's early history, study find

COVID-19 isolation linked to increased domestic violence, researchers suggest

What to do when a mammogram shows swollen lymph nodes in women just vaccinated for COVID

After Hurricane Irma, soundscape reveals resilient reef ecosystem

Parker Solar Probe offers stunning view of Venus

Ancient skeletal hand could reveal evolutionary secrets

Study finds human-caused North Atlantic right whale deaths are being undercounted

Bearded seals are loud -- but not loud enough

Tool that more efficiently analyzes ocean color data will become part of NASA program

Paleontologists discover new insect group after solving 150-year-old mystery

'Miracle poison' for novel therapeutics

Over 80% of Atlantic Rainforest remnants have been impacted by human activity

Researchers use machine learning to identify autism blood biomarkers

The risks of communicating extreme climate forecasts

Unequal parenthood impacts may explain academia's publication gender gap

Potential biomarker predicts the risk of kidney transplant rejection in patients

A gearbox for tumor cell identity changes

University of Chicago study uncovers inhibitory role of 'Ter cells' in cancer therapies

[Press-News.org] Tweaking corn kernels with CRISPR