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Understanding CRISPR

CRISPR stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats

Derived from a naturally occurring defense mechanism in bacteria against viruses, functions like a molecular GPS and scissors, guided by RNA to a specific DNA sequence, and then using an enzyme (commonly Cas9) to make precise cuts. This sophisticated technology allows for precise and targeted modifications at the genome level.

Here's a closer look

01

Target Identification

CRISPR is directed by a custom-designed RNA sequence that matches a specific part of the DNA we want to edit. This RNA functions as a GPS, guiding the CRISPR system to the exact genome location that needs to be altered. This precision is akin to finding and targeting a unique sentence in an extensive encyclopedia.

02

DNA Cutting

The CRISPR-associated enzyme, Cas9, then acts as molecular scissors, making precise cuts at the targeted DNA sites. These cuts allow for the removal, alteration, or replacement of specific genetic sequences, and are so precise like editing a single letter in a lengthy manuscript without affecting any other part of the text.

03

Natural Repair and Modification

After the DNA is cut, the cell's natural repair mechanisms activate. At this stage, we can introduce desired genetic changes, either to disable a problematic gene, correct a genetic mutation, or insert a beneficial gene.

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