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CRISPR Basics

Gene editing is a revolutionary change of bio technology which is also known as Genome editing. It is a blending of different technologies that allows scientists to alter the DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid). One of the main adaption theory of Gene editing has been in treating diseases and attempt to prevent it by modifying the gene. The first such technology was developed around 1990. Since then there had been no looking back.

Several approaches to it had been worked on with the latest one being known as CRISPR-Cas9 (around 2009) acronym for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats. The CRISPR Cas9 technology, has captivated the genetic editing technology with its efficient and cheaper methods/strategies of modifying DNA. It not only gained momentum in its working and functionality, but also spawned a lot of excitement in the community of biotech scientists because of its accuracy, fast and with different features of genome editing.


How CRISPR technology came to existence?

The entire mechanism of CRISPR Cas9 was accepted and adapted from a naturally suppression system of certain bacteria. The bacteria when attacked by virus restricts any necessary fragment of DNA from the virus and makes use of them for creating segments of customized DNA, termed CRISPR arrays. The CRISPR arrays have unique capability to remember the viruses. Any future attack from the virus causes the bacteria to produce RNA (Ribonucleic Acid) segments for targeting the DNA of virus. It then implements the Cas9 enzyme or enzymes of similar type to incise the DNA for disabling the capability of those viruses. A similar mechanism is followed in the lab with the CRISPR Cas9 technology. Here a small segment of RNA guide gets designed in a sequence that fastens in any living cells to a particular block of code in the genome which ultimately comes in bonding with the enzyme.


Why it is useful?

Genome editing helps in treating intricate diseases and solves some by-birth complexities in human and other organisms. The modern research on gene editing is done using animals and their cell models. More complex gene editing types are in undergoing research to determine whether the approaches and editing compounds are safe as well as effective for general people or not.

A wide range of diseases is being experimented to be cured using this gene editing technology as its cure, right from single gene anarchy such as such as hemophilia, cell disease (sickle) and cystic fibrosis. It must be kept in mind that the changes made to the genes usually don’t affect the next generation or coming siblings or get inherited from one generation to the next. But if the gene editing done in sperm or egg cells then it can help attain certain genetically edited features passed to the future generations. Hence, the future of this technology may help make human capabilities more permissible to use with much enhanced human traits. However what needs to be also seen is to what extent this can be safe as well ethically acceptable.

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