New BLISS technique – one step closer to genome editing in living organisms

Published: 2017-05-24

To be able to edit DNA in living organisms would provide significant opportunities for advances in medicine, as well as agricultural biology. The CRISPR-based tool is a promising approach, which has now progressed further as Nicola Crosetto (Karolinska Institutet/SciLifeLab) and his colleagues present the novel BLISS method for identifying DNA double-strand breaks in tissues.

The paper, published in Nature Communications, presents the Breaks Labeling In Situ and Sequencing (BLISS) technique for discovering DNA double-strand breaks. It reveals that BLISS has many advantages over existing tools as it can label and show breaks anywhere in the genome of tissue samples – with high precision.

One application where it is crucial to have a sensitive and quantitative method for detecting DNA double-strand breaks is the CRISPR/Cas system for genome editing.

“The off-target DNA cleavage of the enzymes used needs to be thoroughly assessed before the CRISPR/Cas technology can be safely used in e.g. a clinical setting,” says Reza Mirzazadeh, co-author of the current paper.