CRISPR 2.0 ‘base editing’ arrives and it’s an even more remarkable disease-fighting tool

gene editing reversible feature
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

You’ve probably heard of the molecular scalpel CRISPR-Cas9, which can edit or delete whole genes. Now, scientists have developed a more precise version of the DNA-editing tool that can repair even smaller segments of a person’s genome. In two studies published [Oct 25], one in Nature and another in Science, researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard describe a new way to edit DNA and RNA, called base editing.

The human genome contains six billion DNA letters, or chemical bases known as A, C, G and T.  … Base editing, which uses a modified version of CRISPR, is able to change a single one of these letters at a time without making breaks to DNA’s structure.

Ross Wilson, of the Innovative Genomics Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, says base editing may eventually be a better way to treat some diseases. He says a single base pair is like a word in a paragraph of text. With conventional CRISPR technology, you would have to replace the whole paragraph.

“It’s a lot of DNA to move around,” he says. With base editing, you could just change the single word.

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The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: CRISPR 2.0 Is Here, and It’s Way More Precise

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