CRISPR-Cas9: Gene Technology’s Sharpest Tool
In 2020, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna for the discovery of a gene-editing system, CRISPR-Cas9, with the power to change the very fabric of our existence. CRISPR-Cas9 allows researchers to reconstruct DNA of living cells with the highest degree of flexibility and precision. Originating from an ancient defense mechanism in archaea bacteria, CRISPR-Cas9 has been effectively used to induce targeted mutations in multiple genes, create conditional alleles, and generate endogenic tagged proteins. This method differs from other geneediting techniques; it is low-cost and reduces the process from a number of years to a matter of weeks. Today, CRISPR-Cas9 is utilized in fields ranging from agriculture to medicine. However, in gaining access to such a powerful genetic tool, serial bioethical concerns were brought to the forefront within genome editing. Here, we discuss the various applications of CRISPR-Cas9 technology and ethical issues related.
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