The Next Generation Of CRISPR-Cas9 Will Put More Pressure On Diseases Trying To Survive
Just when you think you heard about the breakthrough technique of medical science like CRISPR-Cas9, we already have another generation on the way.
A group of scientists from the Broad Institute, in the United States, has recently published some research in Nature that goes over their next step with this technology. Led by David Liu, the team plans to try and remove the limitations of CRISPR-Cas9.
To remind you of what exactly CRISPR-Ca9 is: It’s a process that’s based on a system that is used by bacteria to protect itself from viruses. Try not to think of an epic Lord of the Rings battle between bacteria and virus, although that would be a great way to advertise further down the road.
In short, two RNAs (Ribonucleic acids) will combine with a Cas9 enzyme. Combined, they will locate their target. The Cas9 will cut into the DNA of the target, then the cell will attempt to fix the gene, but without this new technique, it can cause a mistake that creates a mutation. This is the part of Cas9 that some may not have heard about, but what the Broad Institute
One of the problems with Cas9 is that it causes a lot of these mutations, which is believe to have developed in the bacteria to protect itself.
Cas9 can be used to target various things, but it’s currently limited to around 1/16th of the human genome. Since it’s not the entire genome, this means it’s limited to targeting only a limited amount of human diseases. Sort of the equivalent to being an action hero going against a group of bad guys with various weapons with only one bullet in his or her gun.
Other groups have tried to fix this, but have been largely unsuccessful. Liu and his team with the work they’ve been doing has been going a bit better. They’ve used evolution to create their xCas9. This takes the mutating gene within Cas9 to transfer from cell to cell which may deflect its level of interest, which means the best of the best of Cas9 will be transferred to the target.
“I’m not 100% sure xCas9 is going to be flat out better than [Streptococcus pyogenes] Cas9,” Liu said to Science’s John Cohen. “I want everyone to test it because I want to know the answer.”
When researchers and scientists want to share everything to get a better result, this will lead to more great minds to create something that will help wipe out more and more diseases. Here is a better explanation about what exactly CRISPR-Cas9 is:
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver just did a big piece of Gene Editing which heavily includes discussion on the goods and bads of CRISPR.
(Via The Student)
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