Friday, November 18, 2016

About the Revolutionary Gene-Editing Technology e.g CRISPR / CAS9

 In this post I would like to write about the Gene Editing Tools, especially about CRISPR / CAS 9.

 Gene-Editing is not new, it is available for many years. But recent developments such as invention of CRISPR  are making huge differences  by simplifying the Gene-editing process. Previously Gene-Editing was a very complex and tedious process that needs to be done by experts. But CRISPR which is known as "Molecular Scissors" made this task comparatively simple.

These days, we used to hear about  lot of surprising news about CRISPR gene-editing. For example, designer babies, stopping the ageing, Cancer cure, curing blindness, etc.
Some of them may be true, and some of them are not true. We will come to know about which of them are true in near future.

Anyway, there is no question about the huge impact of CRISPR or any other Gene-editing tool to the humanity in coming days.

The advent of CRISPR/Cas9 has revolutionized the Genome Editing Industry. This technique is allowing a previously unattainable level of genomic targeting with greater efficiency and simplicity. Due to this ability, the share of CRISPR/Cas9 is continuously increasing in the Genome Editing Industry.

According to the  "Global CRISPR/Cas9 Market Outlook 2022" report provided by  Research and Markets, it is anticipated that the global CRISPR/Cas9 market will cross US $1.5 Billion by 2022.

The growth of the market is likely to be driven by expanding drug discovery applications and increasing research related activities for exploring CRISPR/Cas9 therapeutic applications.

The major application areas of CRISPR/Cas9 include cell line engineering, genetic engineering, CRISPR plasmid development, human stem cells, gene library development and producing GM organisms or crops. Cell Line Engineering is the largest area of application of CRISPR/Cas9, followed by Genetic Engineering. The genetic engineering market employing CRISPR/Cas9 is expected to witness the highest growth in 2016-2022. This growth is likely to be driven by reduction of evolutionary time in comparison to previous gene editing tools, such as Zinc Finger Nucleases (ZFNs) and Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nucleases (TALENs).

Already scientists have taken a key step toward a cure for sickle cell disease, using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to fix the mutated gene responsible for the disease in stem cells from the blood of affected patients.

On 28 October, a team in China delivered the modified cells into a patient with aggressive lung cancer as part of a clinical trial at the West China Hospital.

MIT researchers have now added an extra layer of control over when and where this gene editing occurs, by making the system responsive to light.

With that system, gene editing takes place only when researchers shine ultraviolet light on the target cells. This kind of control could help scientists study in greater detail the timing of cellular and genetic events that influence embryonic development or disease progression. Eventually, it could also offer a more targeted way to turn off cancer-causing genes in tumor cells.

Using the CRISPR Gene Editing system, the MIT biological engineers have devised a way to record complex histories in the DNA of human cells, allowing them to retrieve “memories” of past events, such as inflammation, by sequencing the DNA.

This analog memory storage system — the first that can record the duration and/or intensity of events in human cells — could also help scientists study how cells differentiate into various tissues during embryonic development, how cells experience environmental conditions,  and how they undergo genetic changes that lead to disease.

And, Salk Institute scientists were able to partially restore visual responses in blind rodents. This will open new avenues for basic research and a variety of treatments, such as for retinal, heart and neurological diseases.

Lot of people are investing heavily in CRISPR related companies. Anyway, still patent war is going on between various research groups.  So,  it is not  clear about the role of CRISPR in the healthcare industry.
Do you know any interesting or useful details about CRISPR or any other Gene-editing Tool? You can share the details through the comments.

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