Skip to main content

New, super-precise CRISPR system could tackle a plethora of genetic diseases

by Futures Centre, Nov 5
1 minute read

A new method for gene editing, called prime editing, offers greater control over modifications and could be safer for use in humans than the widely popular CRISPR-Cas9 system.

CRISPR systems have revolutionised gene editing since their applications were realised in 2012. So much so, the CRISPR-Cas9 system (one of the most often used systems) has been used in research on human embryos since 2015 and the world’s first CRISPR-modified babies were born in 2018. However, the CRISPR-Cas9 system is less effective in certain regions of the genome, is error-prone, and often results in unintended, or ‘off-target’, effects (where other areas of the genome are modified). For example, the modifications were only partially successful in the CRISPR-edited babies.

The latest advance, published in Nature on the 21st October, uses an adapted CRISPR-Cas9 system to bypass these limitations. The lead author of the study, David Liu, estimates that prime editing could help tackle almost 90% of the 75,000 known disease-associated DNA variants listed in the public database ClinVar. Prime editing, therefore, opens up a wealth of previously intractible genetic manipulations. 

Details

by Futures Centre Spotted 1925 signals

Have you spotted a signal of change?

Register to receive the latest from the Futures Centre.
Sign up

  • 0
  • 0
  • Share

Related signals

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We'd also like to set optional analytics cookies to help us improve it. We won't set optional cookies unless you enable them. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookies page.

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics cookies

We'd like to set Google Analytics cookies to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information on how these cookies work, please see our 'Cookies page'.

>