Tracing the origin of each cell in a zebrafish

LINNAEUS makes it possible to trace the origin of each cell of a zebrafish.
(c) Microscopic image: Junker Lab, MDC

Scientists from the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) have used CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing to pioneer a technique capable of determining both the type and origin of all the cells in an organism.

"Whenever we use such a technology to examine an organ or an organism, we find not only familiar cell types, but also unknown and rare ones," says Dr. Jan Philipp Junker, head of the Quantitative Developmental Biology research group at MDC. "The next question is obvious: Where do these different types come from?" Junker's group describes a technique, called LINNAEUS that enables researchers to determine the cell type as well as the lineage of each cell.

For more information, see the press release by MDC, ScienceDaily, and the original publication: Spanjaard B. et al. Simultaneous lineage tracing and cell-type identification using CRISPR-Cas9-induced genetic scars. Nature Biotechnology, 2018. DOI: 10.1038/nbt.4124

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