It's the most exciting breakthrough since we mapped the human genome, but the average person may not know anything about CRISPR. In essence, CRISPR is a technique that allows scientists to make precision edits to any DNA, whether bacterial or human. Scientists discovered the technique when studying a bacteria's immune system, which they gave the acronym CRISPR. (It stands for "clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats.") When a virus attacks one of these bacteria, the CRISPR system captures a piece of the virus's DNA and slides it into a section of its own DNA, which lets the bacteria's virus-fighting machinery use it like a "wanted" poster to identify and destroy the virus it came from the next time it attacks.
Written by Ashley Hamer May 24, 2016
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