Not saying dinosaurs are being cloned, but we won’t deny it either
DeskGen is the hot new startup that could do for genetics research what the PC did for programming. We’re not saying that dinosaur clones are about to start coming out of your study, but the software has made a splash in the genetics community by making CRISPR-based genetics experiments easier for geneticists everywhere.
The sciencey stuff
CRISPR stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat, which is an immunological defense mechanism that protects bacteria from an invading virus. This DNA sequence uses CRISPR associated proteins (Cas) to precisely target the offending virus without damaging other DNA.
What made this pattern so revolutionary in genetics is that while other enzymes can only target shorter strings with four bases, the Cas 9 enzyme can target strings up to 20 bases long- meaning a geneticist could target one specific genetic trait. Some early applications of this technique have included curing a rare liver disorder in mice by replacing a mutant gene with the correct one.
Genome editing from your laptop!
A new treatment that could cure disease at the genetic level sounds nifty, but performing these experiments has previously required an expensive lab and equipment.
As co-founder Edward Perello said of the software: “This is genome editing from your laptop without having to use a lab.” DeskGen, which is offered for free to academics and on a subscription basis to commercial clients, allows researchers anywhere to access the cloud-based software and walk through the process, as well as share their research and updated techniques.
Investors lining up
Others in the world of genetic engineering clearly see promise in the London-based startup, which has raised $3.12 million from six investors in just over three years. Look for this tech company to make a big splash both in the business and practical sides of genetics.