4 Reasons Why CRISPR Gene Editing Is Crucial for Our Future
CRISPR gene editing is here to stay and the positive impact it could make on humanity at large is astounding and exciting.
CRISPR stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats; in short, it’s a microbial immune system that is highly adaptable. It’s found in different kinds of bacteria, which use CRISPR to defend themselves against invading bacteria viruses.
The CRISPR method is a more efficient way of carrying out DNA modification, making it easier and cheaper for scientists to make changes to an organism’s genome. Researchers have been studying CRISPR for years and now they’re at the point where they’re exploring how to alter the DNA of organisms, including human beings. Here’s how CRISPR gene editing can help scientists make crucial changes for our future.
It Can Help Scientists Eradicate Diseases
As most people know, some diseases and other medical conditions occur when offspring inherit the culprit gene from a parent. Alternatively, their own DNA could experience a gene mutation, causing the disease.
Now, scientific researchers are looking at how their work with CRISPR can help them make changes to an organism’s DNA, or genetic code, to eliminate the incidence of a gene mutation. Currently, this idea has only made its way to bacterial microorganisms but who’s to say that the scientific community can’t work their way up to plants, animals, and, finally, people?
It Opens up a More Efficient Pathway of Gene Editing
The idea of editing someone’s genes is not new but discoveries in the CRISPR field are opening up new pathways that scientists can take. Considering that a living, breathing organisms has hundreds of thousands of cells, it seems impossible to alter the DNA in each and every one.
Rather, CRISPR researchers are looking at getting to the root of the issue and working on gene edits while there is still one cell. In other words, this would happen in the embryonic stage, which is clearly a much more efficient process.
It’s a Promising Benefit to Organ Damage and Replacement
Whether it’s the liver, kidneys, pancreas, or another vital organ, when an organ gets damaged, there are only so many options available to the patient. CRISPR is opening up a new field of organ repair and replacement, starting with mouse embryos and petri dish cells.
Scientists are using the CRISPR method to alter stem cells and re-inject them into an organism to repair the damaged organs. With more research, this could become huge for doctors and surgeons who work with patients who experience kidney failure and other organ damage and diseases.
It Can Produce Healthier Populations
There are certain populations and communities around the world that are destined for poor health and a number of inherited diseases. CRISPR is opening the door to modification of the human genome. Although most scientists are not currently working on human embryos, what they are learning from plants, mice, and petri dish cells is promising.
Researchers are able to grow new plants and microorganisms from a handful of cells, notably thanks to the revolutionary CRISPR/Cas9 system and its use of lentiviral vectors. As for what that could translate into for the human race, there is a world of possibilities. The latest string of CRISPR experiments is changing DNA without cutting away at the DNA strand or adding anything to it. Rather, they can send an enzyme to a certain point in the DNA and use it to modify a gene.
In the coming years, it will be exciting to see new developments and uses in the world of CRISPR technology. The fact that medical scientists can modify a creature or organism’s DNA without pulling anything apart or adding something to it is utterly amazing. This is definitely an exploratory medical achievement to keep an eye on.
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