Wednesday, April 3, 2019

it's a nice day for a white lizard

There is a lot of research and studies currently going on involving the genome editor CRISPR. However, until now there hasn't been any success with editing lizards and snakes. In, Science Magazine, Jon Cohen briefly describes how researchers were able to successfully edit the pigmentation in lizards. Usually CRISPR is injected into a fertilized egg but with these 21 lizards it was injected into 146 immature eggs. This was done because when a lizard egg is fertilized a shell is formed around it making it difficult to inject CRISPR through it without causing any harm to the embryo. Another complication is that lizards can store sperm in their ovum for an undefined amount of time. Four albino offspring were reported from these brown lizards.

Although this is a new technique, researchers do believe this will work with other lizards and snakes. It's still a little odd to think of researchers editing genes before the egg is even fertilized. The purpose of this research is for developmental genetics. Until now, lizards and snakes were left out of the research.

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