“A tool that has been instrumental in the development of cancer treatments and COVID-19 testing supplies is aiding scientists in locating endangered salmon species.
Researchers use the CRISPR-based Sherlock gene-editing tool, which stands for Specific High-sensitivity Enzymatic Reporter unlocking, to identify endangered fish, including the Sacramento winter-run and Central Valley Spring run, in the San Francisco Bay, Reuters reported.
Swabs of mucus are extracted from the fish and combined with chemical substances that will glow with the presence of certain DNA, according to the outlet. Field researchers deploy the fluorescent reader, which typically gives results within 30 minutes.
Andrea Schreier, an associate professor at the University of California Davis and coauthor of a study published last year in Molecular Ecology Resources, told Reuters the Chinook, listed as an endangered species, are a great sample to test the tool’s quality.
“They’re visually very similar and the current method we have to identify the different types is based on what length they are at a particular age and it’s not very accurate,” Schreier told the outlet…..”