Tag Archive for: gene editing

“Editing the Future: The Advancements in Gene Editing and its Impact on Medicine, Agriculture and Society” by Mark M. Whelan

Gene editing is a technique that allows scientists to make precise changes to the DNA of an organism. One of the most commonly used methods of gene editing is called CRISPR, which stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats.

CRISPR works by using a specific enzyme called Cas9 that can cut strands of DNA at specific locations. To do this, the scientist first creates a small piece of RNA called a guide RNA that matches the sequence of the target DNA they want to cut. The guide RNA is then attached to the Cas9 enzyme, which uses it to locate and cut the matching DNA sequence.

Once the DNA is cut, the cell’s natural repair mechanisms are used to fix the break. This can be done in one of two ways: either the cell can simply join the two ends of the DNA back together, or the scientist can provide a replacement piece of DNA to insert into the gap.

CRISPR has a number of potential applications, including the ability to correct genetic defects, modify genes to improve crops or livestock, or even create entirely new organisms with novel characteristics. For example, CRISPR has been used to edit the genes of crops to make them resistant to pests, or to edit the genes of animals to make them more resistant to diseases. However, there are also concerns about the potential risks and ethical implications of gene editing, and the technology is still under development and subject to regulation.

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