Biotech Updates

New Algorithm Discovers 188 CRISPR Gene Editing Systems

November 29, 2023

Researchers from the USA identified over 200 functional systems related to CRISPR using a newly developed algorithm. This approach demonstrates various applications in biotechnology and medicine.

Systematic mining of sequencing databases can be used to discover many functional systems and protein families. However, the current techniques for sequence mining are not keeping up with the growing databases that contain billions of proteins. This issue limits the identification of rare protein families and associations.

To help with this problem, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and National Institutes of Health produced fast locality-sensitive hashing–based clustering (FLSHclust), which is a deep terascale clustering. The team applied FLSHclust in a CRISPR discovery pipeline and discovered 188 unreported CRISPR-associated systems. These identified systems open up a vast array of biochemical activities associated with RNA-guided processes that have not yet been explored and have the potential to become biotechnologies.

Read the journal article on Science for more information.

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