Genetic Diseases And Humans Are Caused By Point Mutations Essay

1199 Words Oct 13th, 2016 5 Pages
Most genetic diseases in humans are caused by point mutations i.e. single base errors in a DNA sequence. These diseases can be cured by changing the bases using genome editing. The current genome editing technologies cannot efficiently correct these mutations in the cells because it results in insertion or deletion of nucleotides (The Scientist, Catherine Offord, 20 April 2016). A new genome editing technology has the potential to eliminate genetic disease by altering our DNA, faster, cheaper and unprecedented precision at the same time. This technology is creating a buzz in the world of science - CRISPR (Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats).
CRISPR is a naturally occurring defense mechanism found in a wide range of bacteria. The mechanism works in two parts. Scientists had observed a strange pattern in which the DNA sequence would be repeated several times with unique sequences in between the repeats. The unique sequences in between these repeats matched the DNA of viruses which prey on bacteria. The second part of the mechanism is a set of enzymes called CAS and the genes encoding it are found near to the CRISPR sequence. The CAS can precisely snip the DNA of an invading virus. “As the CRISPR region fills with virus DNA, it becomes a molecular most wanted gallery, representing the enemies the microbe has encountered. The microbe can then use this viral DNA to turn CAS enzymes into precision guided weapons. The microbe copies the genetic material in…

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