CRISPR: The way of the future

CRISPR: The way of the future

In recent reports, CRISPR has been a leading headline and place of interest. “CRISPR” stands for clusters of regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats. CRISPR is a revolutionary technology that is a tool for editing genomes.

Alyssa Walker, a reporter from science publication Wired says “Scientists around the globe have spent the past seven years honing this new tool” and now it’s time for it to be unleashed and explored.

In the last 10 years, groundbreaking research has made it possible for scientists to take genetic modification to a new level. The development of CRISPR is revolutionary, it will be changing the world forever. It is a tool that allows researchers to be able to control genes within many organisms including humans.

What makes CRISPR unique is that they are specialized stretches of DNA. The protein Cas9 is an enzyme that acts like a pair of molecular scissors, capable of cutting strands of DNA.

CRISPR was adapted from the natural defense mechanisms of single-celled microorganisms. This allows for the technology to be able to manipulate genes. This works through destroying the DNA if the foreign invader then regurgitating the information in order to edit.

The question of whether this should be taken to them by the public is one to argue. Until that day the CRISPR foundation explains they will continue to improve CRISPR until it is appropriate for the public to benefit from this technology.