Video: How CRISPR gene editing technology came to dominate genetic engineering

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A CRISPR associated protein (Credit: "PDB 1zpw EBI" by Jawahar Swaminathan and MSD staff at the European Bioinformatics Institute via Wikimedia Commons)

CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing began with the fortuitous discovery of repeating DNA palandromes and the genes that followed close behind them in the sequence. These patterns and genes were the building blocks for bacteria’s immune systems that identify and sever viral DNA to protect the bacteria from the virus. But, scientists were able to program these immune proteins to identify any particular DNA sequence, then cut and insert new DNA. The technology has been quickly commercialized, and many experts think we will see therapeutic applications within the next 10 years.

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