What Is CRISPR? A Simple Explainer On The Revolutionary-Gene Editing Techinique

What Is CRISPR? A Simple Explainer On The Revolutionary-Gene Editing Techinique
Despite it being something that’s poised to change the face of health and genetics as we know it, no one should be blamed for not knowing too much about CRISPR, the revolutionary gene-editing technique that has repeatedly made headlines — including at Medical Daily — since its discovery in 2012. If only because it really is a complicated subject, involving biological processes that are literally eons in the making. For those of us looking to bone up on CRISPR, though, the World Science Foundation is happy to oblige, having just held its ninth annual World Science Festival this past June in New York City. Released this past weekend, the above video details the very basics of CRISPR, as well as the potential concerns scientists and others have about it.CRISPR stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats. The term describes a section of repeating DNA that contain unique DNA bits nestled within its open spaces. Certain microorganisms, like bacteria, use CRISPR as a type of immune system, with the unique DNA bits made out of past viral foes. When the bacteria comes across that virus again, its Cas (CRISPR-associated protein) springs into action and very precisely attacks the hapless invader, slicing its DNA into ribbons. Eventually, as the video goes on to explain, scientists discovered they could rejig the CRISPR/Cas system using guide RNA to target most any piece of DNA, allowing them to precisely edit the genes of a cell with much more ease than previous techniques.For the rest of CRISPR’s fascinating story, click on the video above. Youtube

Though CRISPR is poised to change the face of health and genetics as we know it, no one should be blamed for not being an expert on the revolutionary gene-editing technique that has repeatedly made headlines — including at Medical Daily since its discovery in 2012. It's a complicated subject, involving biological processes that are literally eons in the making.  

For those of us looking to bone up on CRISPR, though, the World Science Foundation is happy to oblige, having just held its ninth annual World Science Festival in June in New York City. Released this past weekend, the above video details the very basics of CRISPR, as well as the potential concerns scientists and others have about it.

CRISPR stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats. The term describes a section of repeating DNA that contains unique DNA bits nestled within its open spaces. Certain microorganisms, like bacteria, use CRISPR as a type of immune system, with the bits made out of past viral foes. When the bacteria comes across that virus again, its Cas (CRISPR-associated protein) springs into action and very precisely attacks the hapless invader, slicing its DNA into ribbons.

Eventually, as the video goes on to explain, scientists discovered they could rejig the CRISPR/Cas system using guide RNA to target most any piece of DNA, allowing them to precisely edit the genes of a cell with much more ease than previous techniques.

For the rest of CRISPR’s fascinating story, click on the video above.

Loading...
Join the Discussion