Introduction to CRISPR 101

Welcome to CRISPR 101!

This post is an introduction to the site, CRISPR 101 is dedicated to keeping everyone up to date on the revolutionary CRISPR-Cas technology!

What is CRISPR?

CRISPR which stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, is found in bacteria and archaea where it acts as a defence mechanism against invading bacteriophages.

A piece of viral DNA from the phage is acquired and inserted into the bacterial/archaeal genome at the CRISPR locus. CRISPR RNAs (crRNA) are then transcribed from the CRISPR locus.

When the bacteria/archaea is attacked again by the same bacteriophage, the specific crRNA and Cas protein will recognise and cleave the viral DNA, thus disrupting the attack and providing immunity to the bacteria/archaea.

This technology has been extracted from bacteria and applied in such a way that it can be used to edit genes with the use of specific gRNA and Cas. The ability to alter our genes is groundbreaking and could one day be used to treat genetic based diseases at the DNA level and even more this tool could be used to study the functions of certain genes. The applications of this technology are unlimited.

The video below by TED Ed is a great CRISPR primer!

What Content to Expect?

As can be seen in the illustration above, there are several applications of the CRISPR-Cas technology, the CRISPR tool box is an evergrowing collection. Stay up to date on research pertaining CRISPR including clinical trials, patents and much more.