Gene Editing and Engineering Technology

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INTRODUCTION: Gene editing and engineering technology has the potential to cure many diseases that plague humans. Until now, there have been two main methods used to perform gene editing. The first is a method that uses Zinc Finger Nucleases (ZFNs) to target genes. This method allowed to make changes at the desired places, but it required, a new protein to be specifically engineered for each target gene. This was difficult and very time consuming. The other method uses transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs). In this method, it's much more easier to tailor them to the targeted genes. But, TALENS are large proteins, and it is difficult to deliver them into the cells. CRISPR stands for 'clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats'. These are short DNA sequences that are found in bacteria. This is used to make RNA that along with a protein called Cas9, to make cuts in the invading viral DNA. This mechanism is used by bacteria to protect and defend against invading viruses. In 2012, it was discovered by Jinek et al [1], that a piece of RNA along with the Cas9 nuclease could be used to make cuts at any place in the DNA sequence. The greatest advantage of this method is that it is very easy to engineer pieces of RNA corresponding to the DNA sequence to be cut. Also, the Cas9 nuclease is easy to produce. This method provides a cheap, quick and easy way to make genetic changes in cells, and accelerate genetic research in the laboratory. HUMAN
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