What's new

Gene editing technology - CRISPR

Sri Ra

New member
Gene editing technology - CRISPR

The latest buzz in the biomedical research world is the gene editing tool CRISPR-Cas9. This unique technology that aids to edit parts of the genome by removing, adding or altering sections of the DNA sequence. This way a specific gene targeting is achieved. It is faster, cheaper and more accurate than previous techniques of editing DNA and has a wide range of potential application including correcting genetic defects, treating and preventing the spread of diseases like including cancer, hepatitis B, high cholesterol. and improving agricultural crops, etc. However, its promise also raises ethical concerns as its involved to human germline editing process.

CRISPR (pronounced as crisper) which stands for “clusters of regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats” is a specialized region of the DNA. Cas9 (or "CRISPR-associated") is an enzyme (protein) that acts like a pair of molecular scissors, has the ability to cut the strands of DNA. CRISPR RNA is a piece of RNA called guide RNA (gRNA). It’s a pre-designed RNA ‘guides’ Cas9 to the right part of the genome.

More research is still focusing on its use in animal models, isolated human cells. The ultimate aim is to use the technology to routinely treat diseases in humans.

Diagram showing how the CRISPR-Cas9 editing tool works. Image credit: Genome Research Limited

An illustrative animation can be seen in here

Keywords: gene editing, genetics,
DNA editing_CRISPR.jpg