A Video That Explains How CRISPR/Cas9 Allows You to Edit DNA
Below is a simple, straightforward video on how CRISPR/Cas9 allows researchers to edit DNA. Unlike the scientists in China who were recently reported to have used the technique to create the world’s first gene-edited babies, which is illegal in most countries, the vast majority of researchers are moving forward carefully and within rigid ethical guidelines.
In related news, biologists at UC San Diego reported yesterday that they developed the first CRISPR/Cas9 technique to control genetic inheritance in a mammal.
Science Daily: "Scientists around the world have been using CRISPR/Cas9 in a variety of plant and animal species to edit genetic information. One approach to editing the genome can control which of the two copies of a gene is passed to the next generation. While such "active genetics" approaches have been developed in recent years in insects, creating such tools in mammals is more challenging, and testing them takes much longer due to the longer time between generations"....
"Our motivation was to develop this as a tool for laboratory researchers to control the inheritance of multiple genes in mice," said Cooper. "With further development we think it will be possible to make animal models of complex human genetic diseases, like arthritis and cancer, that are not currently possible."
CRISPR/Cas9 is a powerful tool with unlimited potential to treat genetic diseases, but as the Chinese case makes clear, scientists and regulators need to work together to create and police appropriate regulatory controls.