Gene Editing (CRISPR/Cas9)

Gene editing is the technology that allows scientists to change DNA in an organism. Changes can include material being added, removed and altered at any point within the genome. Over time new methods have come out, one being the CRISPR-Cas9 system. This system is faster, cheaper, more accurate and more efficient than previous existing editing methods. The way this works is, say in a lab, researchers will take a piece of RNA and have it bind to the Cas9 enzyme. Next the enzyme will cut out DNA at a previously targeted location. Once cut, scientists will then add in and make any necessary changes to the genetic material in the segment. 

The concept of gene editing is a very important practice because it could help to prevent and treat countless diseases. Some even hope it could help to cure more complex diseases such as cancer and mental illnesses. Currently, genome editing is not used in humans but there are plans later on if current testing goes well.

On the agricultural side, gene editing allows yields to be higher by making the crops more resistant to certain aspects. This is beneficial because it allows producers to keep up with the increasing consumer demand.

Leave a Reply