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The CRISPR revolution

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Cas9_5AXW

A surface model of Cas9 protein bound to the gRNA and DNA molecules

With discovery of our ability to adapt the Cas components of a bacterial “immune defense” system, CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats), to use in mammalian cells, our capacity of manipulating the behaviour of specific regions of human genome took an unprecedented leap. Ability to use an RNA molecule to guide targeting of the nucleic acid-binding Cas proteins, which in their turn could be engineered to perform various functions, provides researchers with a facile and versatile toolbox for manipulating, and, more recently – observing, in real time and in living cells, the “dynamic life” of a human genome.

The CRIPSR advantage DOCRISPR origins