CRISPR CAS9 gene editing technique | Applications & issues with the technology

CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology
  • Genome editing also called gene editing is a group of technologies give scientists the ability to change an organism’s DNA. Some approaches to genome editing have been developed. A one is known as ( CRISPR-CAS9 ), which is short for red regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and PR-associated protein 9.
  • Cas9 system has generated a lot of excitement in community because it is faster, cheaper, more more efficient than other existing genome editing

Origin of Crispr Technology:

  • Natural CRISPR Pathway CRISPR-Cas9 was adapted from a naturally occurring genome editing system in bacteria.) The bacteria capture snippets of DNA from ‘ invading viruses and use them to create DNA segments known as CRISPR arrays.
  • The CRISPR arrays allow the bacteria to “remember” the viruses. If the viruses attack again, the bacteria produce RNA segments from the CRISPR arrays to target the viruses’ DNA. The bacteria then use CAS9 or a similar enzyme to cut the DNA apart, which disables the virus.

Gene Editing – Crispr

  • CRISPR technology is simple, different and far more accurate. It also does not involve the introduction of any new gene from the outside. CRISPR mechanism is often compared to the ‘cut-copy’ or find-replace’ functionalities in common programmes.
  • A bad stretch in the DNA sequence, which is the cause of or disorder, is located, cut, and removed – and then replace with a ‘correct’ sequence. And the tools used to achieve this are not mechanical, but biochemical specific protein and RNA molecules.


  • Step 1: Identify the particular sequence of genes that is the cause of the trouble.
  • Step 2: An RNA molecule is programmed to locate faulty sequence on the DNA strand, just like the ‘find’ or ‘search’ function on a computer.
  • Step 3: A special protein called Cas9 is used to break the DNA strand at specific points, and remove the bad sequence.
  • Step 4: Intervene during the auto-repair process by supplying the correct sequence of genetic codes, which attaches to the broken DNA strand. Note: If Step 4 is not done, the DNA auto repair mechanism will recreate faulty DNA sequence.

Potential Applications:

  • A vast number of diseases and disorders are genetic in nature Ex: Sickle cell anaemia, eye diseases including colour blindness, several types of cancer diabetes, HIV, and liver and heart diseases. CRISPR-based therapeutic solutions can be employed to find cure to many genetic disorders.
  • Over the last three years, several such solutions have been undergoing clinical trials. CSIR’s Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology have indigenously developed a CRISPR-based therapeutic solution for sickle cell anaemia, which is now being readied for clinical trials.
  • Japan has already approved the commercial cultivation of a tomato variety that has been improved using CRISPR based intervention. In India, several research groups are working on CRISPR-based enhancements for various crops including rice and banana.

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Ethical issues:

  • CRISPR has great power to induce dramatic changes in an individual due to which its main developer Jennifer Doudna, has been warning potential for misuse of the technology.
  • In 2018, a Chinese researcher disclosed that he had of a human embryo to prevent the infection of HIV first documented case of creating a ‘designer baby’, widespread concern in the scientific community. Preventive interventions to obtain special traits is no scientists currently want the technology to be used case, Changes were made in the embryo itself, the were likely to be passed to future generations.
Sodhi Gautam

Sodhi Gautam

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