Creating a safer CRISPR by targeting RNA instead of DNA

rna
Image credit: WIKIMEDIA, NICOLLE RAGER, NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

Researchers at the prestigious Salk Institute are reporting that they have managed to map the molecular structure of a CRISPR enzyme that could allow scientists to more precisely manipulate functions within cells.

The new findings from the Salk Institute, published in the journal Cell, provide the detailed molecular structure of CRISPR-Cas13d, an enzyme that can target RNA instead of DNA.

ADVERTISEMENT
[H]aving editing tools can allow scientists to modify a gene’s activity without making permanent — and potentially dangerous — changes to the gene itself seems like a good option to explore.

“DNA is constant, but what’s always changing are the RNA messages that are copied from the DNA,” says Salk Research Associate Silvana Konermann, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Hanna Gray Fellow and one of the study’s first authors, in a statement. “Being able to modulate those messages by directly controlling the RNA has important implications for influencing a cell’s fate.”

Related article:  Cloning tool spots 'foreign DNA,' minimizes off-target changes with CRISPR gene editing

Researchers at Salk first identified the family of enzymes they’re calling CRISPR-Cas13d earlier this year and suggested that this alternate system could recognize and cut RNA. Their first work was around dementia treatment, and the team showed that the tool could be used to correct protein imbalances in cells of dementia patients.

Read full, original post: Scientists have moved one step closer to RNA editing, which could be the next stage of CRISPR

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Do you know where biotech crops are grown in the world? This updated ISAAA infographics show where biotech crops were ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists
Send this to a friend