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Crop Biotech Update

Researchers Develop a Tool to Predict Off-target Editing by CRISPR

October 31, 2018

A successfully designed CRISPR gene editing system is one with a minimal presence of "off-target mutations," or modifications of DNA outside the target DNA sequence. Computational tools used by researchers to detect off-targets for a specific targeting sequence largely rely on the accurate scoring of the presence of these off-targets. Thus, researcher Jan Gorodkin from University of Copenhagen in Denmark and colleagues designed a tool called CRISPRoff, which uses energy parameters for the binding of RNA-RNA, DNA-DNA, and RNA-DNA to detect off-targets. The researchers compared the developed tool with other tools presently available and found that CRISPRoff has the highest true positive rates and the lowest false-positive rates among the programs. The findings in the study not only allow more accurate off-target prediction, but also open doors in studying binding energies further, as these have major impact in off-target mechanisms.

For more information, read the article in Genome Biology, or visit the platform in CRISPR Web Server.