Human/HIV/Cancer Genome Editing using the CRISPR-Caspase 9 system
(William Carey Research Symposium – April, 2015)
This research project aims to review and assess the literature to determine if the most recent developments in the discovery of the Crispr-Casp9 system can be used for human genome editing.. It is possible to silence a gene or gene locus specifically using the system. This opens up another way or method for gene regulation. CRISPR stands for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats which uses a nuclease Caspase 9 to edit specific gene loci. The system can be used to create isogenic cell lines created for specific purposes, which lends to a highly accurate biotechnological system used for research. Earlier, genetic lines would have to be made through modification using a variety of techniques that were time consuming and had a varied amount of accuracy and efficiency. They used RNAi or RNA interference methods such as short hairpin RNA’s for gene silencing, but toxicity levels of shRNA mediated knockdown proved difficult to use for neuronal cell lines in Eukaryotic cell lines. By 2012, it was shown to be able to accurately cut out sequences in a human genetic somatic/germ cell-line culture. HIV can lay dormant within the DNA of specific immune system cells. The potential for using the Crispr-Casp9 system for editing it out of the cell is being studied as it is hypothesized to be able to remove the virus completely from human cells rather than just controlling it when the virus decides to replicate. Cancers due to defects in the genetic somatic cell line level can also be edited at a cellular level with the Crispr-Casp 9 system to excise the defective genetics sequence. Sickle cell anemia caused due to defects in homozygous alleles can theoretically be corrected in the bone marrow which will lead to normal erythrocytes being made rather than the defective cells.
Poem – Yasamin
(Indigo Literary Journal, William Carey University – March, 2015)
My first published work is a poem about the flower Jasmine which comes from the word ”Yasameen or ‘Yasamin’ in Farsi. The word Yasamin means “Gift of God” in Farsi and it is this essence of the flower that I tried to capture in my poem.
“My under graduate career at Western will take me another two years but in my heart I know that when I leave London, I am not just leaving with a certificate and a transcript but memories of LUSO and the people I have met and the time I have spent explaining why “x” is behind all things unknown.” – John Thottungal