DEC 22, 2017 08:53 PM PST

Finding the Next Gene-editing Enzyme

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

CRISPR/Cas9 is a revolutionary gene-editing system that comes from bacteria. As explained in the video, bacteria get sick too, and they have an immune system. Their immune systems recognize pieces of foreign DNA by using CRISPR and dice the invasive DNA up with an enzyme, Cas. Scientists figured out how to harness that system for our own use both in the laboratory, and it is hoped, for the clinic as well.

Now computational power can be used to help find other enzymes that can tinker with the genome, and potentially be applicable in clinical therapeutics one day. But every genome, even that of bacterial species, holds a tremendous amount of data, and it takes a lot of work to sift through all of it to find the right sequences. Computers have now made it possible to identify what we're looking for in ways we couldn't do on our own; learn more from this video by the Berkeley Lab.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
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