Authors: Yi Li, Shiyuan Li, Jin Wang and Guozhen Liu.
Abstract: Beyond its remarkable genome editing ability, the CRISPR/Cas9 effector has also been utilized in biosensing applications. The recent discovery of the collateral RNA cleavage activity of the Cas13a effector has sparked even greater interest in developing novel biosensing technologies for nucleic acid detection and promised significant advances in CRISPR diagnostics. Now, along with the discovery of Cas12 collateral cleavage activities on single stranded DNA (ssDNA), several CRISPR/Cas systems have been established for detecting various targets, including bacteria, viruses, cancer mutations, and
others. Based on key Cas effectors, we provide a detailed classification of CRISPR/Cas biosensing systems and propose their future utility. As the field continues to mature, CRISPR/Cas systems have the potential to become promising candidates for next-generation diagnostic biosensing platforms.
The ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) has announced today that Griffith University has become a collaborating partner and will host a CNBP research node at its Institute for Glycomics on the Southport, Gold Coast campus.
As a research node and collaborating partner of the CNBP, Griffith University joins the University of Adelaide, Macquarie University and RMIT University as a core member of the Centre of Excellence.
The Griffith based CNBP research node, headed-up by Associate Professor Daniel Kolarich (pictured top left) from the University’s ‘Institute for Glycomics’, will add to CNBP’s research capability in the development of next-generation light-based tools that can sense and image at a cellular and molecular level.
“Our team has specialised glycan knowledge and expertise that will aid the Centre in its objectives of improving understanding and knowledge of cell-communication and the nanoscale molecular interactions in the living body,” says A/Prof Kolarich.
Mark Hutchinson, CNBP Director and Professor at the University of Adelaide welcomed Griffith University as a new partner to the Centre.
“A/Prof Kolarich and his team are world-class scientists with exceptional knowledge and skills in glycomics. They have state-of-the-art facilities and will add significantly to CNBP’s investigative strength, helping us to achieve the highest levels of research excellence,” he says.
For further information, a media release is available online from the CNBP web site.
Below – Formalities are completed with the handover of the CNBP partnership plaque at the Institute for Glycomics.
CNBP’s Dr Annemarie Nadort has shone a light on biophotonics, microcirculation, medical device development and a career in science to an audience of 35 Yr 9-10 high school students, at an outreach session at Macquarie University, May 10th, 2018.
The students, attending the University as a part of a ‘career-ready’ day, were given a quick tutorial on blood and light and were then given a hands-on demonstration of a clinical microcirculation imager that was able to provide a real-time view of red blood cells circulating in capillaries under the tongue.
Students were then given a brief history of the imager’s development and then asked how they could potentially improve a mark-two version of the device from a biological, physics, engineering, IT and software perspective. This explained Dr Nadort was the sort of critical thinking required to kick-start a career in medical device design and development; and the skills that could be learnt from undertaking higher education study.
Feedback from the students was extremely positive. Half a dozen students tried the imager under their own tongues. Seeing the body’s cells operate in real-time on a large screen proved insightful and engaging to all in the room.
Below – Dr Annemarie Nadort explains to students how we can use light to see blood using innovative new tools and techniques.
Prof Mark Hutchinson has hosted a visit to the University of Adelaide and CNBP Headquarters of His Excellency Mr Pedro Zwahlen, Ambassador of Switzerland to Australia.
The visit from the Ambassador was a part of a four day trip to Adelaide which included visits to the Tonsley Innovation Precinct, the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, various South Australian Government Departments, as well as meetings with the Honourable Jack Snelling MP and the Honourable Zoe Bettison MP.
As a part of the Ambassador’s visit to the University of Adelaide, Prof Hutchinson discussed CNBP science activity, the power of light to measure in the body, and provided a walk-through tour of the Centre’s laboratories.
Below – Prof Mark Hutchinson left, with His Excellency Mr Pedro Zwahlen.
Team ‘Life Whisperers’, composed of CNBP researchers from the University of Adelaide, Melanie McDowall and Jonathan Hall, together with their mentor Michelle Perugini have won first prize in both the Medical Innovations and Research Commercialisation categories of the ‘Australian eChallenge’ competition.
Run by the Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre (ECIC) at the University of Adelaide, the eChallenge is a competition based learning experience that develops strategic business thinking for early-stage entrepreneurial ventures. Participants pitch their venture concepts to potential investors from the local business community. This year it attracted 152 teams across a number of categories.
The successful ‘Life Whisperers’ team proposed and pitched to judges, a new non-invasive diagnostic product to help improve embryo selection and ultimately improve positive IVF outcomes. In winning both categories, the team won $20,000 ($10,000 per category) with the money able to be used to help support future startup activity.
Below – Entrepreneur Steven Fang presents Jonathan and Mel with one of their winning cheques.
The CNBP has officially launched an international research partnership with the University Health Network (Toronto) following a successful event, undertaken at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre on the 30th May 2016.
The partnership broadens the potential for research collaboration between the CNBP and the UHN as well as strengthens the current links and ties that already exist between the two organisations.
According to CNBP Director, Prof Mark Hutchinson, highlights from the day included an all day science workshop featuring plenty of opportunities for brainstorming between the teams researchers, as well as the identification of immediate opportunities for materials and sample sharing.
“Formalizing the partnership between the CNBP and the UHN makes perfect sense and will provide both organisations with improved opportunities and expertise in the undertaking of leading edge biophotonics research”, said Hutchinson.
Below, the formal handover of the CNBP partner plaque by CNBP Director Prof Mark Hutchinson (far right) to UHN’s Prof Brian Wilson (second right).
The Australian Society of Medical Research (ASMR) has held its 3rd Annual Newcastle Satellite Scientific Meeting, with CNBP Chief Investigator Prof. Nicolle Packer giving the plenary lecture.
With a theme of ‘Supporting Early Career Research’, the meeting attracted health and medical research focused students, research assistants and Early Career Researchers.
Prof Packer spoke about her current research, with a focus on the structure, function, informatics and application of glycans and their conjugates as molecular markers, looking at their role in cancer, therapeutics and microbial infection.
Congratulations to CNBP honours student Emma Wilson from our RMIT University node in Melbourne. Emma was recognised this evening with an award for her ‘Outstanding Achievements in Biotechnology’.
The Award is an industry sponsored award for academic excellence in the RMIT Biotechnology Degree, and it is awarded for best student performance overall.
Emma’s research is focused on investigating the peroxidase-like activity of Fluorescent Nanodiamond (FND) within a traditional bio-sensing assay.
Supervised by CNBP Chief Investigator Associate Professor Brant Gibson, Dr Philipp Reineck from the RMIT node of the CNBP and Professor Vipul Bansal, Group Leader of the RMIT NanoBiotechnology Research Laboratory, Emma is finding her work challenging but extremely rewarding!
“The opportunity to work under the guidance of these three scientists, each with their diverse expertise and perspectives is a great honour,” said Emma. “The award made for a fantastic evening.”
CNBP Research Fellow Denitza Denkova has helped host a school visit to Macquarie University’s Physics and Astronomy Department.
The Year 12 science students, from Kingscliff High School, South Coolangatta, were shown a number of experiments and videos relevant to their Higher School Certificate study.
Explained were principles encompassing particle and wavelength duality, as well as the significance of the recent announcement related to the discovery of gravitational waves – a major event in the world of physics.