DNA Editing

posted on 11/07/2017


The cutting edge of DNA editing!!

ACTG: A single letter can change our fate. These four letters represent the molecules that make up our DNA from the moment of conception. For over sixty years, we have known the structure of DNA and for over a decade we have known every letter in our DNA, thanks to the Human Genome Project. Scientists have been discovering genetic changes associated with many cancers, Alzheimer's Disease, and thousands of other diseases with deleterious genetic mutations, leading to such disorders.

If the four letters that make up an organism’s DNA(Deoxyribonucleic acid) are even subtly altered, it can mean certain death. Numerous methods of editing genetic code have sprung up since the discovery of DNA, each one with the acute danger of creating an erroneous edit. Now, CRISPR(Clustered Regularly Spaced Palindromic Repeats), has emerged and gene editing has changed for the better, becoming easier and safer. CRISPR is revolutionizing the way scientists modify genes and presenting limitless more opportunities to rewrite life

CRISPR is a revolutionary new way to edit genes, but how and where did it come from? CRISPR stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats. It refers to palindromic repeats of DNA in a bacteria’s genome. They are interspaced between sets of harmless viral DNA. Although they appear seemingly unimportant, they are crucial to the immune system of bacteria, which unlike ours, can be passed down from generation to generation(“CRISPR”).

CRISPR’s ability to edit genes with unprecedented precision is opening the door to a plethora of uses in the future. In the near future, diseases may finally be on their knees with CRISPR. The Zika DNA vaccine being tested among other DNA vaccines contains genetic material from the virus, once injected into the muscle causes the body to create an immune response to the virus(Mullin).

Genetic engineering isn’t stuff of the future, but the reality of today. Genetic engineering has already hugely altered the way people live. CRISPR allows even more control of living things. One example of a result of research in recoding life is the advancement in curing genetic diseases.

Rewriting life has been a key interest in the science community on account of learning about DNA, but with CRISPR, people can change genes with unprecedented precision. The future rests in programming, whether it be computers or life. With CRISPR, doctors can correct birth defects, get rid of problematic genetic disorders, and cure otherwise incurable diseases. As new improvements are discovered every day CRISPR will solve problems society never thought solvable; changing the world forever.


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