CRISPaper: Understanding gene-editing through art

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CRISPaper: Understanding gene-editing through art

To Sheng-Ying Pao, the power of reframing CRISPR lies in what is absolutely ordinary: paper. In CRISPaper, Pao revisited a cultural past in the ancient art of papermaking.



Over thousands of years, farmers painstakingly converted the wild rice plant into a staple crop. Today, researchers are using CRISPR to change genes to optimize grain yield. However, rice is more than food. In ancient China, it was used to make paper.

Pao took rice stalks from plants edited with CRISPR and ground the fibers into pulp. She then poured the pulp over a mesh screen. Every time she dipped the screen into water, the plant fibers would lift and resettle on top of the mesh, eventually making paper. Through the genome-edited rice plant, an ancient practice was juxtaposed with cutting-edge technology. Pao’s meditative ritual of papermaking is a counterbalance to the strangeness of the source material.

She explains, “We all know that paper wouldn’t last forever. And just because of that, we put in extra care.” This paper is delicate indeed. Light shines through in patches where the fiber is less dense. Woven into the paper, as if growing out of it, is a dried rice stalk. CRISPR might be a powerful technology, but Pao has used it to turn what is familiar into something fragile and unique.

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Materials provided by UC Berkeley. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Ubigene Biosciences is co-founded by biological academics and elites from China, the United States, and France. We are located in Guangzhou Science City, which serves as a global center for high technology and innovation. Ubigene Biosciences has 1000㎡ office areas and laboratories, involving genome editing, cell biology technology, and zebrafish research. We provide products and services for plasmids, viruses, cells, and zebrafish. We aim to provide customers with better gene-editing tools for cell or animal research.

We developed CRISPR-U™ and CRISPR-B™(based on CRISPR/Cas9 technology) which is more efficient than general CRISPR/Cas9 in double-strand breaking, CRISPR-U™ and CRISPR-B™ can greatly improve the efficiency of homologous recombination, easily achieve knockout (KO), point mutation (PM) and knockin (KI) in vitro and in vivo. 

Genome Editing Platform
——Focusing on the Application of CRISPR-U™ and CRISPR-B™ Gene Editing Technology
1. Provides various types of gene-editing vectors for different species.
2. Provides different virus packaging services, including lentiviruses, adenoviruses and adeno-associated viruses.3. Provides high-quality services for gene knockout, point mutation and knockin cell lines

Cell Biology Platform
——Focusing on primary cell
1. Provides over 400 types of primary cells.
2. Provides culture strategies and related products for different cell types.3. Provides cell biology-related services such as cell isolation, extraction and validation.