Scientists have created a CRISPR tool that can destroy larger pieces of DNA


This new technique uses CRISPR-Cas3, while most of the work we have seen so far has been done with CRISPR-Cas9. The tool uses a riboprotein complex known as Cascade to get its target and an enzyme called Cas3 to destroy DNA. As a result, it can move along a stretch of dozens of kilobases of DNA and break down the genetic material.

This could allow scientists to determine which sections of DNA are most important for a particular disease. This can be especially useful for understanding sections that do not encode a particular protein. With CRISPR-Cas3, researchers can destroy these snippets and see what happens.

While gene publishing has the potential for everything from treating cancer to improving the outcome of stem cell transplants and preventing HIV, there are still fears that it can do more harm than we understand and raise ethical concerns. Regardless, the researchers behind this technique say it will take years before it is ready for any therapeutic use.


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