November 4, 2017

How to change individual letters of your DNA?

Gene editing has made another step forward. And maybe a complementary to the former one, the CRISPR-Cas9,  that was proved viable by Jennifer Doudna and I explained some months ago in this post. No it is indeed more interesting. Two different approaches, base editing and CRISPR-Cas13, have been described in Science and Nature. Adenine base editing allows to correct mutations, it doesn't cut the gene to insert a new one. It is a sharp pencil rather than scisors. With CRISP-Cas13 it is possible to edit RNA, which converts genetic information into proteins. An exciting approach, you correct a book with temporary ink that disappears, rather than making a permanent mark (like in CRISPR-Cas9).
These are exciting times for genetic research, though we'll have to wait for specific clinical applications

Modigliani, now at Tate Gallery