Science Snippet: Gene Editing

A new but complex methodology called CRISPR-Cas9 is revolutionizing scientists’ ability to modify DNA to add, remove or alter genes. It is also faster, cheaper, more accurate and more efficient than other existing genome-editing methods. CRISPR-Cas9 may enable scientists to modify or remove genes that cause a particular human disease (e.g., such single-gene disorders as cystic fibrosis, hemophilia and sickle cell disease). Further, changes made to genes in egg or sperm cells, or in embryos, could produce generations of animals devoid of genetic abnormalities.

CRISPR-Cas9 stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats with the Cas9 enzyme. Aren’t you sorry you asked? The reason CRISPR is mentioned here is because in the near future, this methodology is sure to change the lives of many of our loved ones.