Crop Biotech Update

New CRISPR System Enables Temporary Gene Editing

November 8, 2017
CRISPR, one of the new breeding techniques, has just gotten better. A new enzyme called Cas13 has been developed to temporarily modify RNA. This new CRISPR system called RNA Editing for Programmable A to I Replacement (REPAIR) enables targeting specific RNA letters or nucleotides involved in single-base changes. The results of the study conducted by scientists from Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard is published in Science.

CRISPR-Cas9 was developed to edit specific parts of the genome permanently. With REPAIR, scientists can target single bits of messenger RNA, which can be transient or even reversed. The edited portion may be degraded over a period of time and the modifications made in the cell will also disappear. Thus, REPAIR dispels safety concerns faced by the CRISPR-Cas9 system. It also promised a broad application for research, medicine, and biotechnology.

For more details, read the research article in Science and the news release in Vox.