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Gene Modification Technology: CRISPR Cas-9

Have you ever heard repair of DNA? Do you think that human has been altering from past to present? These questions are our sources to explain a new and excited study known as CRISPR-Cas9 system.
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  • İzzet İpek İzzet İpek

⌛ Reading time: 3 minutes

Published Date: 4th February 2020 13:10 pm

📝 Writer: İzzet İpek ✅ Editor: Aysuda Ceylan


A revolutionary study; CRISPR Cas-9!

Is it possible to ensure the birth of designed babies?

Is it possible to cure diseases that affect our genetics?

Have you ever heard repair of DNA? Do you think that human has been altering from past to present? These questions are our sources to explain a new and excited study known as CRISPR-Cas9 system. In order to develop gene replacement technology, this study was published by scientists in 2013 in a clear way. In the light of this improvement, these approaches can be divided into pros and cons situations such as treatment of genetic diseases and designed babies.

Credit: The Day

Firstly, explaining what is CRISPR-Cas 9 system will make our arguments more understandable. Over the last 5 years, this system has been a very popular and exciting scientific breakthrough about gene modification. CRISPR  (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) is a family of DNA sequences found within the genomes of prokaryotic organisms such as bacteria and archaea. Cas9 is an enzyme that uses CRISPR sequences as a guide to recognize and cleave specific strands of DNA that are complementary to the CRISPR sequence. Cas9 enzymes together with CRISPR sequences form the basis of a technology known as CRISPR-Cas9 that can be used to edit genes within organisms. Even though there has been a lot of studies about it for years, the CRISPR-Cas9 system has shown to make effective gene edits in Human tripronuclear zygotes first described in a 2015 paper by Chinese scientists P. Liang and Y. Xu.  

Considering that people have been struggling with hundreds of thousands of genetic diseases for centuries, this invention can figure out all of them, hopefully. Firstly, it works as a scissor. According to Jennifer Doudna who is a biochemist at Harvard University, CRISPR provides to seperate DNA chains and fix disorders. To illustrate, there are many masquitos which live in Africa and cause Malaria known as a fatal disease. Fortunately, their DNA disorders were repaired by CRISPR. In this way, it was ensured that numbers of patients having Malaria decreased in a dramatic fashion in Africa.

As a second approach, although designed baby idea had been propounded many times by scientists in the past, they couldn’t. However, it is possible now thanks to CRISPR-Cas9 system. Obviously, many people certainly ignore it whereas others encourage scientists to reach the most healthy of human being. Absolutely crazy idea! In the U.S, there are a wide range of laboratories which permit this technic. Provided that there are numerous people considering a blue eyed baby, they can consult IVF centers. Not only blue eyed baby but also blonde haired and smarter babies can be designed by CRISPR technology. However, in the future, some scientists might try to achieve superrace. Since this method is not used only for treatments, the worst idea is changing genetic structures may be the end of the humanity, Also lastly, it should be noted that much money is need for gene replacement technology.

To sum up, if we happen to take all these arguments, examples, advantages and disadvantages into consideration, we can -with no doubt- say that its damages are so scary for the basis of our future in spite of many benefits. Finally, nobody should deny that if science solves diseaeses, it is able to impact on human health in a good way.


References  

CRISPR-cas9 Platforms for Genom Editing in Plants: Developments and Applications/Xingliang Ma et all. 2016.

CRISPR-cas9: An Advanced Tool for Editing Plant Genome /Milan Kumar Samanta et all. 2016.

Ashley, E. & White, N. (2014, October 21). The duration of Plasmodium falciparum infections. Malaria journal, 13, 500

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