Friday, November 24, 2017

Programmable base editing of A•T to G•C in genomic DNA without DNA cleavage

This article talks about the ability to convert A*T base pairs to G*C base pairs which could advance the study and treatment of many diseases. Currently there are no enzymes that deaminate adenine in DNA. In this study scientists evolved a transfer RNA adenosine deanimase to operate on DNA when it was fused to a catalytically impaired CRISPR-Cas9 mutant. This resulted in the targeted A*T base pair to convert to G*C with about 50% efficiency in humans. Base editing is a direct irreversible conversion of one base pair to another at specific targets. The significance of this is that it does not require double DNA strands to break apart or donor DNA templates to happen. The process is also more efficient and creates less undesired products.
I found this article interesting because it is the future of research in the genetics field. I think that we should stop searching for remedies or medications for diseases that we have today, but rather should find a way to eliminate them altogether. If we can find a way to go in and take part of the genome that is responsible for the disease in the first place, then that person would not need any medication at all. I think this article and its research shows that scientists are moving more in the direction of genetic editing, and finding the true source of the problem.

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