Improved Version Of CRISPR Gene Editing Tool Eliminates Errors

Wednesday, January 6, 2016 - 13:21 in Biology & Nature

Jennifer Doudna/UC Berkeley CRISPR/Cas-9 at work From curing genetic diseases to bringing back extinct species, the applications for gene editing tool CRISPR seem as limitless as the human imagination. And though the enzyme complex is more precise and easier to use than many of its predecessors, it occasionally still makes cuts at places in the genome that the researchers didn’t intend. Now a team of researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital has developed a new variation of CRISPR that eliminates these off-target modifications, according to a study published today in Nature. That could make many of the far-fetched applications—including those that require editing the human genome—more feasible more quickly. CRISPR contains two main components: guide RNA, which allows the enzyme to pick out a particular pattern of nucleotides from the entire genome, and the...

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