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New Software Makes CRISPR Gene Editing as Easy as “Point-and-Click”

A CRISPR system has two main parts: a protein (typically the Cas9 enzyme) and strand of programmable genetic code called a guide RNA. Cas9 functions as molecular scissors while the guide RNA directs the CRISPR system to a location on the genome. Once there, the Cas9 enzyme cuts out a segment of the DNA. The cut is then either repaired by the cell’s natural machinery or replaced by a new piece of genetic code

Software algorithms can help CRISPR systems avoid off-target effects by combing through genes to locate and optimize guide RNA.

In short, researchers can use CRISPR to edit very precise locations on the genetic code, which can lead to developments like giving crops more agronomic traits, creating gene therapies in order to treat diseases, and eventually even genetically correct hereditary diseases in embryos.


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Software that makes CRISPR easy is happening way faster than I expected. 

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