🔑 to being a Superhero

What is Gene Editing?

Gene editing is a group of technologies that scientists use to change an organism’s DNA, technology like CRISPR, but before we get into how CRISPR works and what it uses specifically, let’s dive a bit deeper into genome editing.

Dolly (the first cloned sheep)

What is CRISPR?

CRISPR-Cas9(clustered regulated interspaced short palindromic repeats and CRISPR associated 9) is a gene that was adapted from a naturally occurring genome editing system in bacteria. How it works, is the bacteria capture snippets of DNA from invading viruses and uses them to create DNA segments known as CRISPR arrays. The CRISPR array allows the bacteria to “remember” the virus and then when the virus attacks again it can produce RNA segments to effectively attack the virus.

What is Cross-Species Genetics?

Cross-species genetics is an idea of bringing specific traits and genes from a different species and genetically engineering those traits into another species to improve the subjected species. The specific example I’m talking about is from animal to human, and we see a lot of this in the movie world’s where superheroes are formed through the transmission of “powers” from specific animals that possess those “powers” like spiders or lizards.

TL;DR

  • Cross-species genetics has shown a lot of potential in animal families, and more research needs to be done if we want to bring that level of translation in humans
  • CRISPR-Cas9 was a tremendous breakthrough when it comes to gene editing, and how we can now pick apart the human genome to customize it
  • There have been examples of genetic engineering and the product that has sprouted from certain changes to different genomes, and how it works

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Valmik Rao

Valmik Rao

Just a 16-year-old trying to solve the world’s biggest problems…