With CRISPR, several genes could be processed simultaneously for the first time


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We have repeatedly reported on the success of using the CRISPR Genome Editor on the pages of our website. The technology is constantly evolving, evolving and enabling a much more effective interaction with genetic material. However, CRISPR also had a minus (a very limited minus, but still). CRISPR can work with one gene at a time. And to change another gene, a second operation had to be done. For the first time in history, however, Swiss biologists were able to process several genes simultaneously. And that is very important for the development of science in general.

What is CRISPR?

Strictly speaking, the full name of the technology sounds like "CRISPR / Cas9". It is based on specific sections of the bacterial DNA, CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats – short palindromic cluster repeats). Between these repetitions are DNA fragments. Roughly speaking, they serve as a guide for CRISPR.

See also: On board the ISS, a DNA processing technique was used for the first time.

And where does Cas9 come from? Cas9 is a CRISPR-associated protein (CRISPR-associated sequence). That is, one can say that they only interact with CRISPR and cut nothing out. In fact, we have something like a "molecular pair of scissors" that can cut just like a normal pair of scissors at one point. But how can they interact with multiple DNA sections at the same time?

How scientists managed to process several genes simultaneously

According to the New Atlas editorial board, in relation to Nature Methods magazine (if you'd like to hear news from the world of Nuka, we recommend subscribing to our telegram channel), a group of researchers from the Swiss Technical University Zurich (ETH Zurich ) proven this Your new gene editing process can simultaneously modify 25 different parts of the genome. Scientists say the new method is not necessarily limited to 25 targets, but could theoretically be extended to hundreds of simultaneous gene modifications.

Instead of the conventional Cas9 protein, which is used in most cases when working with CRISPR, this method uses the much less known Cas12a. Previous studies have already shown that Cas12a is more accurate in identifying target genes. However, a new study shows that Cas12a can also handle shorter units compared to Cas9.

The general CRISPR-Cas methodology targets a target in a DNA sequence using the so-called RNA guide. These RNA molecules, as scientists call them, are a kind of hallmark on houses. After these "tablets" CRISPR orients itself and cuts out the necessary sections. Experts from Switzerland have managed to place several "plates" on the DNA molecule at the same time. In this way, several sections could be edited in one operation.

According to scientists, the new technique will significantly accelerate the process of reprogramming cells and also allow a more comprehensive study of the mechanisms of genetic disease generation, as mutations in the genome are often much more complicated than a "single" change. In the future, new methods for the treatment of genetic diseases will emerge.