Gene-editing ‘scissors’ and antibiotics resistance: Learn more at Jan. 14 Tech Council webinar

Gene-editing ‘scissors’ and antibiotics resistance: Learn more at Jan. 14 Tech Council webinar

A biological tool that may improve crops, make mosquitoes resistant to malaria and treat genetic diseases could also help fight against the growing problem of human resistance to antibiotics. Learn more about CRISPR from Wisconsin scientists 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 14, during a live webinar.

The webinar is hosted by the Wisconsin Technology Council and is the latest in the Tech Council Innovation Network’s continuing webinar series, “Crossing the Coronavirus Chasm.”

Tech Council Innovation Network and Investor Networks members may register at no charge; the price for non-members is $20 for general admission and $10 for students and returning veterans. Click here to register. The Tech Council’s Julie Johnson will be sending webinar credentials prior to the event.

Panelists are Dr. Jo Handelsman, director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery at the UW-Madison, and Dr. Krishanu Saha, associate professor at the UW-Madison. Saha’s lab is using CRISPR and other tools to engineer new cell and genetic therapies. Handelsman is known for her work around antibiotics resistance, which is on the rise globally as microorganisms develop defenses against methods devised to kill them.

“Every year some 700,000 people die from infections; there are estimates the number could reach a staggering 10 million per year by 2050 unless there are breakthroughs,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “Our panel will provide a glimpse at where the research may lead.”

CRISPR allows researchers to spot a gene defect inside living cells and use molecular “scissors” to snip that spot, thus deleting, repairing or replacing the affected gene without damaging others. CRISPR is shorthand for “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats”.

The webinar is sponsored by the Wisconsin Healthcare Business Forum. The Wisconsin Technology Council is the independent, non-profit science and technology adviser to the governor and Legislature, with events, publications and outreach that contribute to Wisconsin’s tech-based economy. The Wisconsin Healthcare Business Forum is a related group that tells the story of healthcare innovation in the state, from emerging technology to business partnerships. To join either, go to www.wisconsintechnologycouncil.com or call 608-442-7557.