There are a large variety of ways gene editing can be beneficial for treating diseases and improving a patient’s quality of life. Cancer therapies, more streamlined drug research and the elimination of inherent diseases are just some of the impactful results that gene editing can provide.
In addition to human cells, gene therapy can be applied to plant cells, resulting in innovative enhancements such as greater resilience to reduce the need for pesticides and insecticides. Furthermore, it can have a positive impact on overall food production and quality, thus benefitting less developed economies and assisting with supporting the rapidly growing demand for food.
CRISPR (Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) is a revolutionary technique that has and will impact medical innovations for years to come. Outlining the process, CRISPR/Cas9 protocols alter genetics precisely by cutting DNA and allowing natural cellular repair processes to step in.
CRISPR is a respectively short process, with genetic modifications being as short as one week with more advanced, modified clonal cell lines taking up to around a month. Software such as Synthego are vital tools in ensuring that gRNA is designed appropriately to ensure that Cas9 targets the precise base pairs.
What can CRISPR achieve?
gRNA (guide ribonucleic acid) locates the desired spot in the nucleus where editing will take place, this guide then shepherds the Cas9 enzyme to the target DNA. Cas9 then locks onto the DNA helix and unzips it, thus disrupting the DNA and resulting in gene inactivation.
Deleting Desired Fragment
Larger fragments of DNA can be deleted by using two gRNA molecules, each targeting different sites along with the DNA. The Cas9 enzyme then cleaves each site deleting the sequence in between, resulting in this sequence no longer synthesising the specified protein.
Adding a DNA template in tandem with the CRISPR/Cas9 machinery allows for the correction of a sequence or the addition of a new genetic sequence otherwise known as homology-directed pair.
When investigating the right methodology for your experiment, there are a lot of variables that must be monitored which change depending on subject, method and time constraints. Though the information above outlines the broad prospects of CRISPR, it is indeed complex and requires a detailed understanding of the process with a particular objective. Explore the research papers in our references section below to outline the processes of CRISPR depending on their target.
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