CRISPR enters period of creative redesigns and gene editing upgrades

toolboxcrisprcas params

Scientists usually shy away from using the word miracle — unless they’re talking about…CRISPR/Cas9.

Even with all the genetic feats the CRISPR/Cas9 system can do, “there were shortcomings. There were things we wanted to do better,” says MIT molecular biologist Feng Zhang…He isn’t alone. A flurry of papers in the last three years have detailed improvements to the editor. Going even further, a bevy of scientists…have dreamed up ways to make CRISPR do a toolbox’s worth of jobs.

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“The original Cas9 is like a Swiss army knife with only one application: It’s a knife,” says Gene Yeo…But Yeo and other researchers have bolted other proteins and chemicals to the dulled blades and transformed the knife into a multifunctional tool.

Zhang wants to improve Cas9, but he would also like other versatile tools. He and colleagues are looking for such tools in bacteria….

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Zhang’s team is exploring other CRISPR/Cas9-style enzymes that could help them “edit or modulate or interact with a genome more efficiently or more effectively,” he says. “Our search is not done yet.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: CRISPR inspires new tricks to edit genes

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