Almost All Disease-Causing DNA to be Corrected With New Tool?



New “Prime Editing” Gene Editing Tool

A new gene editing tool could fix harmful genetic mutations. Scientists from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a new method of editing DNA called Prime Editing which combines CRISPR-cas9 with a reverse transcriptase enzyme.

According to a study published in the Journal Nature, the CRISPR-cas9 is used to make one DNA strand while the enzyme generates a new DNA strand which is inserted into the original DNA strand. Another reverse transcriptase enzyme then guides the CRISPR-cas9 to nick the other DNA strand. The strand is repaired as the enzyme replicates gene edits over from the new DNA strand producing a fully editing DNA strand.

According to a Harvard news release, Prime Editing can also be used to replace one DNA letter with another and could correct up to 89% of genetic mutations. In the study, researchers explained that they used prime editing to make more than 175 edits in human cells in a laboratory and successfully corrected sickle-cell anemia and Tay-Sachs disease. According to the Harvard news release, CRISPR-cas9, if used by itself, isn’t as precise as Prime Editing and could lead to mismatched DNA strands that either include extra DNA code or are missing a certain genetic code. The authors of the study concluded by saying they will investigate the effects of Prime Editing on human cells and will continue to test Prime Editing.

About Yegor Khzokhlachev 807 Articles
Gorilla at Large

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