Merck & WUSTL tie up to study gut bacteria with the help of CRISPR
Category: #health  By Saipriya Iyer  Date: 2018-05-23
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Merck & WUSTL tie up to study gut bacteria with the help of CRISPR

Globally acclaimed genome editing leader, Merck has scarcely announced its strategic collaboration with the Washington University in St. Louis in a quest to optimize nutritional supplements. Apparently, this research could help restore a healthy gut microbial community, termed as microbiome.

The deal between the two spans two years, under the conditions of which the researchers of Washington University would deploy Merck’s flagship CRISPR gene editing technology for studying gut bacteria. In fact, the research mainly aims to determine the difference in gut bacterial communities between healthy and malnourished children. The study would also focus on identifying what characteristics of healthy intestinal bacteria are important for healthy growth.

Quoting a reliable spokesperson of Merck, the development of gut microbiome is severely disrupted in case of malnourished children, which ultimately leads to them surviving with immature communities as compared to healthy children. Headed by a team under Dr. Jeffrey Gordon, Merck’s collaborative approach with Washington University might lead to diagnostics for malnourished children, cite sources.

Sources have categorically claimed that Merck in collaboration with Dr. Gordon’s Group would be deploying CRISPR genome scissors in this study to alter the DNA sequence in microbes that are cultivated from human gut microbiome samples. Experts believe the result would allow researchers to come up with valuable information about the nutritional needs and function of microbes.

For the uninitiated, Merck has long since recognized the significant role that genome editing plays in reinforcing positive advancements in biological research and medicine. However, the growing possibilities of gene editing technologies are hinged to various legal, societal and scientific concerns. In spite of these challenges, Merck’s contribution toward gene editing market, while complying with all the viable legal and ethical standards is indeed commendable, claim analysts.

Apparently, both the parties are highly positive about this collaborative research initiative, claiming that CRISPR based genomic scissors might bring new possibilities in biotechnology and medicine.



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Saipriya Iyer

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Saipriya Iyer

Saipriya Iyer develops content for Market Size Forecasters, Algosonline, and myriad other platforms. A computer engineer by profession, she ventured into the field of writing for the love of playing with words. Having had a previous experience of 3 years under her bel...

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