News | March 5, 2024

Carolina Partners With ChristianaCare Gene Editing Institute To Launch CRISPR In A Box Kits For High School Science Labs

BURLINGTON, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

Leading school science supplier Carolina Biological Supply Company announced an exclusive partnership with the ChristianaCare Gene Editing Institute to manufacture and distribute an affordable CRISPR in a Box™. Theeducational kit is for grades 9 to 12 and higher education. This innovative lab kit, which includes print materials and hands-on exercises, engages students in learning about CRISPR gene editing, which is one of the most exciting frontiers in science today. The new version of CRISPRin a Box kit is available to schools for purchase through Carolina now. Educators are invited to see downloadable images of the kit components, classroom use and company leaders on the Gene Editing Institute’s website.

CRISPR in a Box has already been used successfully by more than 750 students in classroom and laboratory activities around the country, providing teachers with a classroom resource for students to try their own hands at being gene editing scientists. Through the toolkit, students learn how to employ CRISPR as a pair of “molecular scissors” to cut DNA at specific locations and delete sections or replace them with alternate sequences. The kit was voted a Best of STEM 2023 Awards Finalist by the National Science Teaching Association, MCH Strategic Data, and the National Association of Biology Teachers.

“Carolina is proud to partner with the Gene Editing Institute to bring cutting-edge biotechnology into the hands of students,” said Mark Meszaros, vice-president, Core Product Management and Innovation, at Carolina Biological. “Carolina shares the Gene Editing Institute’s mission to prepare the next generation of scientists by providing authentic hands-on learning experiences that challenge students—and not just providing simulated labs or abridged transformations. We are excited to announce a new laboratory activity, CRISPR in a Box, that uses a unique cell-free or in vitro system that will teach each step of this ground-breaking CRISPR technology with confidence. Carolina is an advocate for hands-on experiences that challenge students and expose them to real-world learning. Together with the Gene Editing Institute, we want to prepare students for the future of work and look forward to new development opportunities in the rapidly advancing field of biotechnology.”

The new version of CRISPR in a Box, which will be featured at Carolina’s booth at the National Science Teaching Association national conference in Denver, Colorado, March 20-23, 2024,has been enhanced with an improved teacher guide and is available to schools for purchase through Carolina now. Carolina will continue to refine and update the product in years to come so that it continues to represent the state-of-the-science in gene editing, with leading-edge lab activities that engage and inspire students to potentially explore career opportunities in the growing field of gene editing.

“One of our goals at the Gene Editing Institute is to empower, inspire and engage the next generation of scientists—and to ensure that this includes young people from all socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds,” said Amanda Hewes, M.S., education program manager who helped develop the original kit. “CRISPR in a Box gives students the same instruments that scientists all over the world use. They get a chance to try this in a lab setting. Our outreach in bringing students into our lab to work alongside scientists brings out their passion and interest and truly inspires them.”

That outreach includes mentoring field trips that are available for high school students to visit the Gene Editing Institute’s Learning Lab. In this immersive experience, teachers can bring students to a fully-stocked laboratory to perform a half-day gene editing experiment with scientists from the lab. Students also gain the opportunity to learn directly from experts in the field about their own experiences and careers in the science of gene editing.‚Äč

“We are happy to partner with Carolina to accelerate access to a new version of our CRISPR in a Box and to help build the next generation of gene editing scientists,” said Eric Kmiec, Ph.D., executive director and chief scientific officer of the Gene Editing Institute. “Our aim is for all people to have trust in the medical system and to have equal access to medical breakthroughs. It is very important for students, especially from underrepresented communities, to try our technology with their own hands and understand how it works and that it is safe. The future of gene editing is bright and the possibilities are endless if we encourage diversity and inspire the right people to join our field of science.”

Features of CRISPR in a Box

CRISPR in a Box is an authentic gene editing experience available only from Carolina. Students discover CRISPR technology the way it was meant to be with this truly unique, hands-on CRISPR gene-editing kit. As students explore Nobel Prize-winning technology, they walk in the footsteps of science pioneers and use the same techniques that scientists across the world are using to solve the global problems of tomorrow. The learning experience improves medical terminology literacy and builds diversity in the gene editing workforce by providing opportunities for all students to develop the skills they need to explore careers in this field.

Teacher Support

The kit is available either with perishables or with a voucher to receive them at a later date for easy instructor planning. Kit materials are sufficient for 10 experiments. A detailed teacher guide features background information, an experimental overview and support for teachers new to CRISPR reactions. The kit also includes a digital teacher guide and a one-year subscription to Carolina Science Online® Resources.

Availability

CRISPR in a Box is available for purchase now at Carolina.com. For information, visit Carolina’s website or, call (800) 334-5551, or e-mail curriculum@carolina.com.

ChristianaCare Gene Editing Institute

The Gene Editing Institute, a wholly owned subsidiary of ChristianaCare, is a worldwide leader in CRISPR gene editing technology and the only institute of its kind based within a community health care system. The Gene Editing Institute takes a patient-first approach in all its research to improve the lives of people with cancer and inherited diseases. Its education and outreach team are preparing the next generation of gene editing scientists through its on-site Learning Lab and immersive CRISPR in a Box™ teaching toolkit. Since 2015, researchers at the Gene Editing Institute have been involved in several ground-breaking firsts in the field that will help bring treatments to patients quickly and safely. Its researchers are currently investigating how best to use CRISPR-directed gene editing to overcome cancer drug resistance that develops in virtually all solid tumors and establish a “plug-and-play” model to treat lung cancer and other cancers. The Gene Editing Institute, working with its spin out company CorriXR Therapeutics, will seek approval from the FDA to start clinical trials in humans in 2025.

C arolina Biological Supply Company

From its beginnings in 1927, Carolina (www.carolina.com) has grown to become the leading supplier of science teaching materials in the world. Headquartered in Burlington, NC, Carolina serves customers worldwide, including teachers, students, and professionals in science and health-related fields. The company is still privately owned by descendants of the founder, geology and biology professor Dr. Thomas E. Powell Jr.

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