Scientists have invented an innovative Technology, which will be helpful for eliminating our diseases easily and quickly by altering our DNA found in Human Body. This technique is named as CRISPR Gene Editing Technology.
Have you ever heard about this CRISPR technology? Probably many of us are not aware of this technology. This article will help you with a crystal clear, detailed description about CRISPR and How Could It Edit Your DNA? Here arises a new question? Is it possible to modify our DNA? Of course yes. Everyone should know the fact behind editing our DNA.
WHAT IS CRISPR?
CRISPR is a newly adopted technology that allows the bacteria in the cell to fight against the Viruses that affects the Human cells. It also allows making some specific changes in the DNA of the Human Being and some other organisms.
Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat is the acronym for CRISPR. It is an RNA gene-guided editing platform, which is helping to break a double-stranded DNA at a specific location within the genome by making use of a Protein Coat (Cas9) and a synthetic RNA guide.
In the simple life forms like bacteria and another organism, a simple sequence of CRISPR acts as a crucial component of the Immune System for protecting the organisms health. Viruses are the small infectious agents that invade the bacteria in the cells and attack the bacteria. If viral infection threatens this invaded bacteria, then the CRISPR immune system can attack and destroy the genome of the invading virus. The genome of the virus contains the genetic material for its replication. By destroying the genome, the CRISPR immune system protects the bacteria from viral infections.
HOW TO EDIT YOUR DNA?
The CRISPR sequence acts as an immune system and helps to edit our DNA for eliminating the infected bacteria. Before entering into the mechanism of CRISPR working technology. We must be aware of few biological terms like DNA, cell, gene and their explanation to understand the concept easily.
WHAT IS DNA?
The human body is made up of billion and trillions of cells. Cells play a vital role in all the living organisms because it acts as basic building blocks. Cells can make their copies of themselves for multiplying and reproducing, and it contains the heredity materials. Each cell has a unique functionality. The central part of the cell acts a house of DNA.
DNA stands for Deoxyribonucleic Acid. DNA is the main component of chromosomes that contains the genetic materials that lie in the nucleus of the cell in humans and other living organisms. DNA is a double helix stranded which is composed of nucleoids wined around each other and looks like a ladder. Each strand has a backbone composed of deoxyribose (sugar) and a phosphate group. The information in the DNA is stored in the form of codes with four chemicals like adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C) and thymine (T).
DNA molecule is formed in the composition of Genes. Genes produce Proteins, which allows your whole body to do work. Genes carry the genetic information that determines your features and characteristics, which is to be inherited from your parents. For example, A child resembles like their parents, If both of your parents have curly hair then you can inherit the property of curly hairs. Genes are bonded to form DNA and DNA are tightly organized into chromosomes.
DNA along with the genetic information is passed from adult organisms to its offspring during reproduction. We all know that Elephant gives birth to small elephants, monkeys to small monkeys the reason is DNA, a molecule transfers the biological information to make their unique species.
DNA EDITING TECHNOLOGY:
The DNA editing is done with the help of CRISPR technology, which allows the scientist to cure genetic diseases by making changes in the DNA.
Genetic Engineering is a process of adding a new DNA or deleting the DNA into the Cells.
HOW DOES CRISPR WORKS?
In the bacterial genome, CRISPR acts as an immune system to defend against invading virus. When a virus attacks cells, they inject their DNA. A new spacer is derived from the virus and integrated with the CRISPR sequence. In the above picture, the diamond shape is DNA repeats, and the square is spacers. When a new virus infects the bacteria, then it creates a new spacer and incorporates with the existing spacers. Spacers contain the information of the virus infected.
The CRISPR system allows the cell to record the virus that has attacked them. Those bits of virus DNA is passed to the cells progeny. It allows the cell to keep a record regarding its infection. Once those DNA pieces have been inserted into the chromosomes of bacteria, the cells make a copy of the molecule called RNA. Thus, CRISPR RNA is formed. This RNA allows interacting with the DNA molecule that has the matching sequence.
Here are three steps for the CRISPR immune system to protect bacteria from further viral infections :-
Step 1: Adaptation
Invading Virus DNA is generated from short segments and inserted as a new spacer in the CRISPR sequence.
Step 2: Production Of RNA
Like DNA, RNA is a single chain molecule. Bacterial DNA will undergo transcription with the CRISPR repeats and the spacers by copying DNA into RNA. CRISPR RNA is a short segment of RNA chain.
Step 3: Targeting
To destroy the invaded virus, the CRISPR RNA guides the bacterial molecule. During adaptation, these CRISPR RNA copies the DNA sequences of the invading virus.
RNA bits forms a complex by binding with a protein coat CAS9. The white color in the picture is CAS9; Red color is RNA, and the blue is DNA. This complex then associates with the DNA and allows the CAS9 to cut the viral DNA by searching the entire DNA in cells that match the sequence in the RNA.
This CAS9 complex is programmed to recognize a particular DNA sequence So that it can break the DNA where it is required. When an organism cell detects a break in double helix DNA, it can paste both the ends together to get rid of the break or it can integrate with a new piece of DNA. Thus, it will protect the bacteria from the viral infection.
For example, CRISPR technology was already used in mice by making a small change in its DNA in a gene has made a difference in the pigmentation of the mice from black color to white color.
Genome engineering technologies are similar to a computer because to run new software you have to rewrite your computer. Likewise, CRISPR technology acts as software for the genome.
The Future Of CRISPR
CRISPR has its applications in Industries and Laboratories. So we had many techniques for sequencing DNA, manipulating DNA and even for copying DNA but these technologies were very difficult and inefficient. CRISPR technology is relatively straightforward. This new technology should find a way to deliver therapies to the body before used in medicine. It may take more than ten years to edit the DNA in adults Says scientist Jennifer Doudna. There is a lot of excitement to launch CRISPR technology because it can create a disease free world in future.