Saturday, July 6, 2019

What are CRISPRs?

First discovered in archae, and later in bacteria, CRISPR is a form of genetic code editing. CRISPR, pronounced cripser, stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats. It often refers to Cas9 and -CPF1 systems used to target and edit DNA at specific locations. CRISPRs are comprised of short RNA sequences meant to correspond to a matching DNA sequence. CRISPRs genetic code editing makes it ideal for finding and editing potential mutations in genetic code.

There are different ways CRISPR can edit genetic code. One is to find a potential gene that expresses a mutation and remove it from a DNA sequence. A second way is for it to find a mutation and add a new code to be expressed. Another way is for CRISPR to find a mutation, remove the mutation, and add in a new code to be expressed.

The editing of genetic code can lead to various kinds of mutations in genes. For instance, after replacing a mutation with a new gene, CRISPR may cause mutations as blunt ends are rejoined. Different systems, such as Cas9 and -CPF1, offer pros and cons in their ways of editing genes. The potential risks lead CRISPR to be a controversial topic towards curing illness and mutation in human genetic code.

1 comment:

  1. I think CRISPR is an amazing discovery that could go a long way in treating genetic diseases that currently have no definitive cure. I also find it impressive that this enzyme was found in archaea and bacteria, because previously I had the misconception that CRISPR was technology, not an enzyme. Even though CRISPR is currently a controversial topic, I hope that we can come together and agree on correct times to use CRISPR that could potential save lives.