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March 2019 Research Update

Age-related Hearing Loss Linked to Transcription Factor

Recently, a group of researchers discovered a gene linked to age-related hearing loss. In a collaborative study published late last year in Nature, the authors reported that Helios, a transcription factor, is responsible for the maturation of outer hair cells (OHCs). These cells are located in the outer ear, and they are critical for sound sensitivity and tuning.

OHCs and inner hair cells (IHCs), do not regenerate once they are damaged or lost. For this reason, progressive loss of OHCs, in addition to loss of IHCs, leads to much of the etiology of age-related hearing loss.

"... attempts to direct stem cells towards hair cell fates have, so far, resulted only in the formation of immature cells that lack many of the markers of mature IHCs or OHC," note the authors...

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I've identified the target sequence for a CRISPR Cas9 gene editing experiment. What components do I need?

To attain unmatched consistency between your CRISPR experimental replicates, use TriLink CleanCap® Cas9 mRNA and high quality sgRNA. sgRNA, also known as single guide RNA, is a chimeric RNA composed of crRNA and tracrRNA, connected by a short RNA linker.

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Zone In With The Zon Blog Post

Xeno Nucleic Acids (XNAs) Revisted

In scientific nomenclature, 'xeno' is used to indicate something strange or different relative to what exists in nature, and is derived from the Greek word xenos for strange. Xeno nucleic acids (XNAs), reviewed here, are intriguingly "strange" synthetic polymers. They have natural nucleobases (A/G/C/T or U) for encoding genetic information...

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