Patent And Ethical Issues Lies A Gene Editing Method With Massive Potential Within The Biotechnology Industry

982 Words Nov 4th, 2015 4 Pages
Surrounded by patent and ethical issues lies a gene editing method with massive potential within the biotechnology industry. The CRISPR-Cas9 system works like ‘molecular scissors’ where Cas9 is an endonuclease that targets a specific DNA sequence (Griggs. 2015). This is more efficient than the previous methods such as zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs) and transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), as well as being simpler to use. CRISPR-Cas9 uses single guided RNA (sgRNA) to reach the desired gene, where it is able to cleave the double stranded DNA in the presence of a Protospacer Adjacent Motif sequence (PAM sequence) (Ran et al. 2013). This is the stage where the gene can be altered via the cells own repair system due to the break in the DNA (Nehme et al. 2014). Solutions to sickle-cell anaemia, malaria and beta thalassemia are just a few of the life changing impacts this method could have in the future.

CRISPR stands for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat and the Cas9 stands for CRISPR associated nuclease nine. There are three major types of CRISPR-Cas systems and the Cas9 system is a type two system (Lundgren et al. 2015). The sgRNA used is produced from a targeting sequence (crRNA) and a Cas9 nuclease-recruiting sequence which is trans-activating CRISPR RNA (tracrRNA). The target sequence for sgRNA must be ajacent to the PAM sequence that has a base sequence of NGG or NAG (G is guanine, A is adenine and N is any nucleotide). The sgRNA…

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