- A research team led by Carlos Pulido and colleagues has developed a computational tool which can produce optimized sgRNAs
- These RNAs can act as molecular scissors that delete specific regions of the DNA
- When the edited section of the DNA codes for RNA, the RNA also contains the edited versions of the gene sequence.
Genomics and the structure of our DNA have been merely
"read" so far; however, scientists have now developed a computational tool that
will allow easy deletion of DNA within living cells. The study was published in
PLOS Computational Biology and this vital step towards understanding
DNA could help scientists gain a better understanding of the non-coding regions
of the DNA. The scientists hope that it will aid in identifying certain unknown
regions of the DNA which lead to diseases and will result in a potential new
method of therapy.
The Dark MatterThe CRISPR-Cas9 editing tool has revolutionized gene therapy by allowing silencing of genes that code for proteins. However, the vast majority of our genes are termed "dark matter" as they do not code for any protein; thus, studying these non-coding genes would help gain key insights into human biology and disease development.
DECKOBased on CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing tool, The Johnson lab developed a new tool called "DECKO" that deletes non-coding DNA. This system utilizes 2 sgRNAs that act as molecular scissors and cut out DNA at both ends, which is a unique plus point of this system. Though this tool was accepted by many, there was no software which could develop the two sgRNAs; this made the deletion experiment laborious and lengthy.
CRISPETaDr. Carlos Pulido and colleagues developed a software called CRISPETa that can perform the deletion experiments using CRISPR. The region of the DNA that needs to be deleted should be entered into CRISPET, and the tool then designs sgRNAs which are then used by the scientists to carry out the experiment. The designs can be generated at high scales, with an eye on future experiments.
Advantages of CRISPETa
- Optimized pairs of the sgRNA can be designed by the CRISPETa tool
- The targeted DNA can be efficiently deleted using the CRISPETa designs
- The system efficiently deletes targets within human cells
- The RNA that is coded from the edited/deleted sections of the DNA also contains the same editions/deletions
- The tool has been designed to be used even by people who are not experts, which will allow the tool to be used across various laboratories
- It could soon be used as a therapeutic strategy, deleting sections of DNA that are found to lead to the development of disease
Dr. Carlos Pulido who wrote the software for CRISPETa said that the new software tool opens a large number of possibilities to utilize CRISPR deletion in their research.
Bringing the Woolly Mammoth Back to Life Using CRISPR TechnologyThe CRISPR/Cas9 system has been gaining considerable importance in the field of genomic studies. In another interesting study that utilizes the CRISPR/Cas9 system, Dr. George Church recently stated attempting to bring the woolly mammoth back to life. This project is not a vanity project, according to Dr. Church, who has edited 15 copies of genes, out of the 30 that has to be edited in total, to be able to carry out the task.
Dr. Church, from The Harvard Woolly Mammoth Revival Team, believes that repopulating the tundra and the boreal forests of Eurasia and North America with Asian elephants, would help break down big ice deposits thus allowing cold air to pass through. Since the Asian elephants are unable to survive in the cold weather conditions, the scientists are using CRISPR technology to integrate genes from the mammoth genome with genes of the Asian elephants to help them adapt. This is one of the most eagerly awaited projects, with the entire world watching to see if the woolly mammoth will indeed be brought back to life.
The need to bring back the woolly mammoth would aid in understanding the complex evolutionary mechanisms that were necessary to protect species from extinction. It would also serve as a method for large mammal conservation. The Asian elephants are not adapted to survive in cold regions and are thus restricted to living in the Asian regions. However, poaching has led to a drastic reduction in their numbers. Using the CRISPR/Cas9 system to help the Asian elephants survive in the colder climates assists in
- Adaptation for better circulation of blood and oxygen in the low temperatures
- Increased subcutaneous fat which will help insulate against cold
- Growth of additional hair which will protect the elephant from the cold air
- Woolly Mammoth Revival - (http://reviverestore.org/projects/woolly-mammoth/)
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Amrita Surendranath. (2017, March 07). CRISPETa - A Novel Tool to Delete Disease Causing Genes. Medindia. Retrieved on Sep 26, 2022 from https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/crispeta-a-novel-tool-to-delete-disease-causing-genes-168400-1.htm.
Amrita Surendranath. "CRISPETa - A Novel Tool to Delete Disease Causing Genes". Medindia. Sep 26, 2022. <https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/crispeta-a-novel-tool-to-delete-disease-causing-genes-168400-1.htm>.
Amrita Surendranath. "CRISPETa - A Novel Tool to Delete Disease Causing Genes". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/crispeta-a-novel-tool-to-delete-disease-causing-genes-168400-1.htm. (accessed Sep 26, 2022).
Amrita Surendranath. 2021. CRISPETa - A Novel Tool to Delete Disease Causing Genes. Medindia, viewed Sep 26, 2022, https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/crispeta-a-novel-tool-to-delete-disease-causing-genes-168400-1.htm.