NOV 13, 2017 01:32 PM PST
Breaking: First Real-Time Video of CRISPR editing DNA
WRITTEN BY: Julia Travers
3 82 4365

 

CRISPR is a gene-editing technique that has been the subject of much debate and diverse experimentation since first being used in 2012. A group of scientists from Kanazawa University and University of Tokyo in Japan have now created the first real-time, molecule-scale footage of CRISPR altering a strand of DNA.

CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) has two components; an enzyme called Cas9 that acts as a genetic scalpel and an RNA guide or homing device that leads the scalpel component to the correct string of nucleotides. With these two parts, CRISPR can be used by humans to locate and change specific genes. The range of applications for this technology are both amazing and controversial, due to concerns about still-evolving regulations and possible misintended consequences of its adoption – it can be used for everything from fighting disease or creating allergy-free foods to directly editing human embryos.

To capture Cas9’s motion, “A tiny needle moves back and forth, rendering details about the enzyme’s shape, moving so quickly that it produces a moving image,” Kristen V. Brown of Gizmodo explains. Through this process, known as high-speed atomic-force microscopy, the scientists take us on a brief and grainy but incredible journey into the realm of CRISPR at work.

About the Author
  • Julia Travers is a writer, artist and teacher. She frequently covers science, tech and conservation.
You May Also Like
APR 23, 2018
Cell & Molecular Biology
APR 23, 2018
An Atlas of Gene Activity in Each Cell of a Whole Animal
The transcriptome of each cell in a planarian has been catalogued and made into a freely accessible database.
JUN 06, 2018
Health & Medicine
JUN 06, 2018
Printing a Cornea in 3D
We are living in some fantastic times, with technology, medical advances and better treatments for many illnesses. Nowhere is this technology more apparent
JUN 06, 2018
Neuroscience
JUN 06, 2018
Brain Surgery Without A Scalpel
When you think of brain surgery, in addition to being incredibly intricate and delicate, scalpels and clamps and an OR come to mind. As it happens, there i
JUN 13, 2018
Technology
JUN 13, 2018
Hemp Fabric Kills Staph Bacteria
Cloth made from hemp outperforms many other textiles in staph resistance.
JUN 14, 2018
Technology
JUN 14, 2018
Watch: Personal Flying Car Takes Off
Kitty Hawk Wants Everyone to Fly in Their New Vehicle
JUN 14, 2018
Videos
JUN 14, 2018
Video: MIT Trains AI to Clean House
Robots Learn New Chores in Sims World
Loading Comments...