CRISPR may revolutionize disease diagnostics

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For what scientists say is the first time, researchers have incorporated the gene-editing system CRISPR into a diagnostic test — one that can differentiate between two strains of the Zika virus.

CRISPR has been hailed for its potential to fix mutations that cause disease. It has hastened the pace of discovery in research labs around the world. And it is often described as a find-and-replace or find-and-delete technique because scientists can harness it to cut DNA and insert or eliminate genetic “letters” of their choosing. But researchers have also been exploring CRISPR’s potential to diagnose diseases.

CRISPR also may not work for some, or even many, diagnostic purposes. The Food and Drug Administration. But scientists say the Zika research, published last month in the journal Cell, appeared to mark the first demonstration of CRISPR being used in a diagnostic. If the quest for CRISPR-based treatments is barreling full speed ahead, then the pursuit of a CRISPR-based diagnostic at least has its engines revving.

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Read full, original post: Could CRISPR gene-cutting tool transform disease diagnostics?

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