Arms race is played on your body. It is part of an invisible war that has invaded billions of years. When the virus hunts and infects bacteria, the bacteria that save bacteria save the defeated enemy pieces – DNA fragments – in the genome to detect and defend themselves from the attack. In response, the virus developed a counterattack.
The natural defense system for bacteria is called CRISPR-Cas9. And in 2012, the biochemist Jennifer Doudna, along with French microbiologist Emmanuelle Charpentier, changed genetics with a good idea.
What will happen if scientists can improve KRISPR as a tool to modify genes? Since then, Doudna and others have smashed this cellular weapon to cure diseases and create strong plants. Currently, scientists are trying other tasks: to avoid mutation that is not possible due to genetic modification.
To find the description of the tool, imagine the letters of the genome – G, A, T, C – written in piles of books in tens of stories. Guide R9 Shepherds Cas9 – acting like a pair of DNA scissors – in the right place, reaching only 20 letters and allowing scientists to change.
“CRISPR-Cas9 lets you find the right place,” says Joseph Bondy-Denomy, a microbiologist at the University of California at San Francisco. “This is a big problem.”
In reality, the global genetic editing revolution is underway. Attorney’s lawsuit for patent. Startups sell securities in NASDAQ. And this year, Oregon Health and Wellness University researchers have used the CRISPR to prove the genes that cause heart disease in the human embryo. This is the first CRISPR experiment in humans in the United States.
But despite the experience
the CRISPR always brings unintended consequences – genetic changes in the desired position. Scientists call this “off-target effect”. The casings do not always stop after the cuts have been made. Sometimes scissors crosses a day or two more days, treating other sites that look like targets but are not compatible.
“If you leave the device on time, [KRISIS KRISTEN] can have the ability to cause problems,” said Doudna, who is also a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
In May, the group of ophthalmologists and others alarm bells in the mail are published in the Natural Method. The team used CRISPR to correct the genes that cause blindness in the mice. But when it comes to the rat, he finds an undesirable genetic mutation. Headlines on target targets and CRISI stocks collapsed.
The group challenges the group and thinks that, in general, fears of targets have been ignored. Scientists are aware of these mutations and technology is more accurate for academic research purposes. The problem just started when scientists sent KRISPR to a complex clinical trial.
Bondy-Denomy, a micro-UCSF biologist, discovered a “natural” way to overcome these ineffective effects. His research focused on races between bacteria and viruses, and years ago, Bondy-Denomy began testing intuition. If the bacteria defended the virus using KRISPR, he explained, the virus may have the answer to fight. She is right. The virus produces “anti-CRISPR” proteins that catch Cas9 and compromise its genetic modification capabilities. He published his results in Cell in January 2017. “This is a switch,” he said.
In the summer
Doudna, Bondy-Denomy and their friends have been using this virus counter to reduce the target effect. In Science Advances, the team described in detail how to use the CRISPR to make changes and then perform anti-KRISPR to prevent scissors Cas9 from running.
The technique can help the CRIS move from the laboratory to therapeutic applications that must be fully implemented, said Doudna. Another team seeks ways to prevent inappropriate effects. For example, a team that edited the human embryo earlier this year did not identify the inappropriate effects, because the preparatory work was to keep the KRISPR in a shorter margin.
However, these genetic modifier antidote can use other important uses. Security experts, such as former national intelligence director James Clapper, fear that KRISPR will make it easier for bioterrorists. Bondy-Denomy states that people have been attacking the CRISPR attacks on humans or humans