Horizon Scanning

During the horizon scanning process, scientific publications are screened and evaluated to identify and analyze possible environmental effects of new technical developments and their applications in the field of genetic engineering/biotechnology considering the precautionary principle. The results of the horizon scanning are made available to the public in form of short summaries. It is an ongoing collection of current literature that does not claim to be complete and is continuously updated.
The current focus of the horizon scanning process can be found → here

Detection of CRISPR-mediated genome modifications through altered methylation patterns of CpG islands.

Background – epigenetics The field of epigenetics deals with hereditary changes that do not change the DNA sequence itself. Epigenetic markers determine which genes are activated or silenced in certains cells and tissues, so they influence gene expression. Thus, the basic structure of the DNA remains unchanged. Epigenetic markers are biochemical appendages of DNA. Epigenetics […]


Allele-Specific Chromosome Removal after Cas9 Cleavage in Human Embryos

CRISPR/Cas9 was supposed to be used in this study to change a mutation in human embryos that cause a genetic disease. This disease is mediated by a mutation in the EYS gene and causes blindness (retinitis pigmentosa, retinal degeneration). The scientists envisaged that CRISPR/Cas9 causes a double-strand break (DSB) within the mutated EYS gene of […]


A compact Cascade–Cas3 system for targeted genome engineering

In this study, the CRISPR/Cas3 system from Pseudomonas aeruginosa type I-C is presented as a new tool for genome editing applicable in various bacteria. Compared to the “classic” Cas9 gene scissors from Streptococcus pyogenes, Cas3 has two distinct functions: on the one hand, Cas3 cuts a single strand of DNA in its function as a […]


Active Genetic Neutralizing Elements for Halting or Deleting Gene Drives

In this study, genetic elements with which gene drives in the genome of fruit flies can either be switched off or completely removed are presented. These mechanisms are based on the transmission of specific guide RNAs (gRNAs, signposts for the CRISPR/Cas9 gene scissors), which determine the target region(s) in the genome and are intended here […]


Chromothripsis as an on-target consequence of CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing.

This study deals with unintended on-target changes in the genome of human cell lines after a DNA double-strand break (DSB) was generated at the target region using the gene scissors CRISPR/Cas. It is important to consider the structure and function of chromosomes to properly understand the effects found here: Humans have two complete sets of […]