Pigs provide valuable meat sources, disease models, and research materials for humans. However, traditional methods no longer meet the developing needs of pig production. More recently, advanced biotechnologies such as SCNT and genome editing are enabling researchers to manipulate genomic DNA molecules. Such methods have greatly promoted the advancement of pig research. Three gene editing platforms including ZFNs, TALENs, and CRISPR/Cas are becoming increasingly prevalent in life science research, with CRISPR/Cas9 now being the most widely used. CRISPR/Cas9, a part of the defense mechanism against viral infection, was discovered in prokaryotes and has now developed as a powerful and effective genome editing tool that can introduce and enhance modifications to the eukaryotic genomes in a range of animals including insects, amphibians, fish, and mammals in a predictable manner. Given its excellent characteristics that are superior to other tailored endonucleases systems, CRISPR/Cas9 is suitable for conducting pig-related studies. In this review, we briefly discuss the historical perspectives of CRISPR/Cas9 technology and highlight the applications and developments for using CRISPR/Cas9-based methods in pig research. We will also review the choices for delivering genome editing elements and the merits and drawbacks of utilizing the CRISPR/Cas9 technology for pig research, as well as the future prospects.
Part of the book: Gene Editing
Hepatitis diseases are remaining in the list of significant threats to human health. Human hepatitis viruses are basically classified into six major hepatotropic pathogens—hepatitis A virus (HAV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis D virus (HDV), hepatitis E virus (HEV), and hepatitis G virus (HGV). Among these different forms of hepatotropic viruses, HAV as the leading cause of acute viral hepatitis is characterized as a kind of tiny ribonucleic acid virus that is linked to atopic disease. As we know, animal models have been instrumental in promoting understanding of complex host-virus interactions and boosting the advancement of immune therapies. So far, animal models such as nonhuman primates (NHPs) have enabled scientists to mimic and study the pathogenicities and host immune responses for hepatitis A infection. With the exception of chimpanzees and marmosets, animals like mice, pigs, guinea pigs, and tree shrews can also be selected as alternative animal models infected with HAV under laboratory conditions. In order to gain a better insight into hepatitis A pathogenesis and relevant contents, this chapter is mainly focused on the research progress in animal models of hepatitis A, and discusses the merits and demerits of these alternative models.
Part of the book: Hepatitis A and Other Associated Hepatobiliary Diseases
The whole genome projects open the prelude to the diversity and complexity of biological genome by generating immense data. For the sake of exploring the riddle of the genome, scientists around the world have dedicated themselves in annotating for these massive data. However, searching for the exact and valuable information is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Advances in gene editing technology have allowed researchers to precisely manipulate the targeted functional genes in the genome by the state-of-the-art gene-editing tools, so as to facilitate the studies involving the fields of biology, agriculture, food industry, medicine, environment and healthcare in a more convenient way. As a sort of pioneer editing devices, the CRISPR/Cas systems having various versatile homologs and variants, now are rapidly giving impetus to the development of synthetic genomics and synthetic biology. Firstly, in the chapter, we will present the classification, structural and functional diversity of CRISPR/Cas systems. Then we will emphasize the applications in synthetic genome of yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) using CRISPR/Cas technology based on year order. Finally, the summary and prospection of synthetic genomics as well as synthetic biotechnology based on CRISPR/Cas systems and their further utilizations in yeast are narrated.
Part of the book: Synthetic Genomics