Nov 22, 2015

Just How Safe Is Gene Editing? New Research Claims CRISPR Is More Accurate Than We Thought

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Gene editing has incredible potential and could give us an unprecedented control of the biological world. The newest addition CRISPR offers unprecedented speed and ease, but there have been questions over its accuracy and reliability. New data hints we can relax a little; it’s safer than we thought.

A brief overview of CRISPR

CRISPR has made gene editing big news in very little time. While it may not be the most accurate method, the system is customisable, cheap and fast and has clear advantages over its predecessors. The system is essentially made of two parts: an enzyme called Cas9 which snips the target DNA sequence, and a guiding sequence made up of RNA which binds to a matching DNA sequence. The system also needs a small 3 letter sequence called PAM, which is required next to the site for Cas9 to cut. Together these can accurately target a specific sequence in the genome, allowing you to make tiny changes or insert a new sequence by hijacking the cell’s own repair systems.

Read more

Comments are closed.