Gene Editing And CRISPR-Cas9 Technology
Genome editing is the ability to modify a DNA sequence. Genome editing technologies allow scientists to change DNA, which affects both disease risk and physical characteristics like eye color. Scientists utilise a variety of techniques to perform this, in recent years, a new genome editing tool called CRISPR has made it simpler than ever to change DNA. Compared to earlier genome editing techniques, CRISPR is easier, quicker, less expensive, and more precise. CRISPR is currently widely used by scientists who conduct genome editing.
Research on the human genome has undergone a revolution in recent years thanks to the fervent growth of genome editing, which has helped researchers better understand how a single gene product contributes to an organism’s sickness.
What is gene editing?
Gene editing is the ability to alter a living organism’s DNA sequence in a very particular way, basically altering its genetic composition. Enzymes are used to perform gene editing, particularly nucleases, which introduce cuts into the DNA strands, remove the original DNA and inserts new DNA into a targeted DNA sequence.
Specifics about CRISPR-Cas9 Technology
Gene editing might sound simple on paper, but it is far from easy. Since the DNA double helix was first identified approximately 70 years ago, genome editing has been a broad field of interest. Researchers have worked for decades to find methods of genome editing that achieve a balance between cost and time with precision.
When CRISPR-Cas9 technology was first presented as an editing tool in 2012, it created a significant uproar in the field of genome engineering. Nowadays, CRISPR is frequently used by scientists to modify the genome for a range of purposes, such as functional genomics, diagnosis, DNA imaging, and therapies.
CRISPR is a sophisticated two-part system made up of a guide RNA and a Cas9 nuclease. The Cas9 nuclease cleaves the DNA inside the 20 nucleotide region indicated by the guide RNA. Researchers can modify their guide RNAs with CRISPR, and algorithms are used to forecast off-target effects (i.e., does this sequence exist in other places of the genome). CRISPR is much more adaptable and reasonably priced, making it more accessible to scientists who might be restricted by time or resources.
Benefits of Gene Editing
In the genetic era, genome editing using the CRISPR Cas9 system is transforming genetics research in a variety of human and animal models, particularly poultry species. CRISPR technology enables scientists to change and modify gene functions for medication delivery, gene therapy, transcriptional regulation, and epigenetic alteration. Several instances when genome modification can be incredibly beneficial:
1. Cancer Therapeutics: Genetic editing can be used to create novel immunotherapies that treat cancer. Cancer cells can be found and eliminated using CRISPR-modified T cells.
2. Drug Research: Genetic make-up may hasten the process of finding new drugs. Some pharmaceutical companies have already started using CRISPR technology in their medication discovery and research processes.
3. Genetic editing enables researchers to stop an inherited illness from passing on to the next generation. Additionally, cystic fibrosis and diabetes can be cured.
4. Genome editing can address pest and nutrition challenges facing agriculture. Instead of using tons of insecticides and pesticides, we can protect our plan in a healthier way.
Editing the human genome may increase lifespan. Human longevity has already increased significantly, our time on Earth might get much longer thanks to genetic engineering. On a cellular level, genetic editing can correct the most fundamental causes of the body’s natural decline. So it has the potential to significantly increase latter life span and quality.
Risks in gene editing
The possibility for unwanted or off-target effects is one of the main dangers that is frequently brought up when the subject of gene editing is raised. Gene editing aims to alter particular DNA sequences, causing desired alterations. However, it’s possible other DNA sequences besides the specific ones could also be altered.
The possibility that gene editing could raise the risk of cancer has just lately been recognized as a potential risk. Concerns about the possibility that CRISPR-Cas9 could increase the risk of cancer cells forming were expressed in two different publications that were published in Nature Medicine on June 11, 2018.
Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and Cambridge University found that CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing can cause a response in cells that tries to guard against DNA damage. The p53 gene is activated in reaction to this, either trying to fix the DNA break or inducing the cell to self-destruct.
The possibility that gene editing could be utilized to alter what it means to be a human is possibly the most serious concern of all. Eliminating DNA sequences that lead to hereditary disorders is one thing; altering genes in a way that they are passed on to all succeeding generations is a whole other.
The benefits and drawbacks of genetic engineering give a sense of its outcomes. As a result, numerous nations and regulations have previously been proposed to achieve the best results. With proper laws and control over its usage, it will definitely be a huge gift for humankind.
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