Articles, announcements and insights from Horizon Discovery

Why Highly Characterized PDX Cancer Models are Important for Targeted Therapy

Jan 4, 2017 3:57:00 PM No Comments

How to Identify an Accurate Model for Your Efficacy Study

Read More PDX, preclinical efficacy testing, Cancer models, High Fidelity Models

Scientific Reports: Increasing the performance of pooled CRISPR–Cas9 drop-out screening

Nov 18, 2016 10:44:56 AM No Comments

Recently published in a paper on in Scientific Reports, Horizon Discovery have conducted a detailed analysis of CRISPR-Cas9 sensitivity (drop-out) screening to come up with a highly improved and optimised platform. In our analysis, we used a custom ultra-complex sgRNA library and capitalised on Horizon’s streamlined screening pipeline to evaluate fundamental aspects of functional genomic screening, including:

  • Side-by-side comparison of the impact of a novel tracrRNA sequence on screen performance
  • Direct analysis of the efficacy of two different sgRNA design algorithms
  • Evaluation of the effect of cell line ploidy on KO rate and screen quality
  • Time-resolved gene drop-out analysis to evaluate the kinetics of CRISPR-Cas9 driven gene knockout
Read More CRISPR Screening

Is there a better way to visualize proteins in cells?

Nov 17, 2016 1:37:26 PM No Comments

 The visualisation of proteins or organelles in cells and other complex biological systems is ‘bread and butter’ stuff for cellular and molecular biologists; it’s performed day-in, day-out in labs across the globe. But this doesn’t mean that the most popular approaches currently used for protein visualisation – dye staining, antibody labelling and fusion protein over-expression systems – are ideal. Almost every scientific technique has its advantages and drawbacks, and the various options currently available for protein visualisation are not exceptions to this rule, so let’s have a look at the pros and cons of each.

Read More Cell lines

Building complex human cell models for oncology research

Oct 10, 2016 11:20:51 AM No Comments


Chromosome abnormalities are a characteristic feature of cancer cells. Translocations are large chromosome rearrangements which are key drivers of tumorigenesis and found in various tumour typesGene fusions result from balanced chromosome translocations and frequently lead to activation and overexpression of an oncogene. The nature of gene fusions strongly correlates with the tumour type, making them very attractive targets for cancer diagnostic or therapeutic intervention. 

Chromosomal translocations are triggered in vivo by the simultaneous occurrence of double strand breaks. The scientists at Horizon Discovery have recently published a new robust and precise approach to generating translocations. This advancement facilitates the generation of relevant cell line models for oncology research.  


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2016 Nobel Prize in Medicine Awarded to Autophagy Pioneer: Professor Yoshinori Ohsumi

Oct 10, 2016 9:42:14 AM No Comments

Recycling has always been a smart idea, and nature has its own processes to ensure that waste is kept to a minimum.  As Professor Ohsumi discovered, autophagy is the cells way of degrading and recycling cellular components, allowing it to adapt to nutritional deficiency or other environmental influences. Professor Yoshinori Ohsumi, honorary professor and leader of the Cell Biology Unit at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, has been studying autophagy for 27 years. This year's Nobel Laureate discovered and elucidated mechanisms underlying autophagy, according to the Press Release from The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet.

Read More Cell lines

Horizon G-Nomes ‘Stick Their Oar In’ at the Cambridge Dragon Boat Festival 2016

Sep 13, 2016 9:19:51 AM No Comments

On Saturday 10th September 2016, a team of intrepid volunteers defied the rain and blustery weather to compete in the Cambridge Dragon Boat Festival 2016 in aid of ACT (Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust). Proudly representing Horizon Discovery, in their branded t-shirts, were our 11 person team who, unlike several of the more experienced teams, gave an excellent account of themselves in the inclement conditions and managed to stay afloat throughout.

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Dr Darrin Disley receiving a Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion

Sep 6, 2016 10:20:50 AM No Comments

On 5th September at our offices in Cambridge, Lord-Lieutenant, Sir Hugh Duberly KCVO, CBE presented Dr Darrin Disley, CEO of Horizon Discovery, with a Queens Award for Enterprise Promotion.

Darrin was nominated for the Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion by Linda Allan. Her Majesty The Queen approved the Prime Minister's recommendation that Darrin should receive the Award.

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Patient in a petri dish: Finding the right cell line to evaluate specific gene function in disease research

Aug 15, 2016 1:56:01 PM No Comments

Which Cell line models to use?

Sourcing biological materials that will acurately represent disease biology can be a time consuming and frustrating proceedure. Here we discuss:

  • the options available
  • and the merits and disavantages of each
  • how gene editing technology can provide bespoke cell models of disease
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Should I be worried about CRISPR off-target effects?

Jun 17, 2016 10:06:42 AM No Comments

Increasingly the literature suggests that CRISPR's potential for off-target effects is not as “bad” as originally thought. Here are a few things to set your mind at ease if you’re working with the CRISPR-Cas9 system:

Read More Gene editing, CRISPR

Five tips for guide RNA design

Jun 15, 2016 3:24:37 PM No Comments

Early on in our CRISPR use at Horizon, we learned that that when it comes to guide RNA design not all sgRNAs are created equal. In fact what makes a good guide is still the topic of a great deal of research in the field – and aside of the consensus that a guide with a guanine at position -1 is more likely to have a higher activity, we are still a way from being 100% confident in predicting in silico guide activity in vitro/vivo.

Read More Gene editing

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