CRISPR-Cas9 Gene-Editing Tool To Improve Future Research

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The emergence of the powerful CRISPR-Cas9 tool allowed researchers to tackle and insert or remove specific genes and granting the chance to observe what happens in the aftermath. CRISPR, a gene-editing-tool, is mainly used to inject a mutation into a particular gene and remove its function from the cell. The researchers will study the modifications which occur in the cell, also known as the phenotype, in an attempt to understand its features and the role played in the system.

A new protocol will allow researchers to create a precise connection between genotypes and phenotypes. The protocol advises scientists to use laser microdissection and single-cell genotyping after CRISPR-Cas9. The processes will enable researchers to identify the exact phenotypic changes which are generated by the CRISPR alterations and to uncover the nature of the DNA modifications which led to that phenotype, making CRISPR even better when it comes to gene study, with a highlight on genes related to the nervous system.

CRISPR-Cas9 Gene-Editing Tool To Improve Future Research

It is well-known that CRISPR-Cas9 works by cutting a targeted DNA strand and repairing the strand with the help of a technique known as the NHEJ (or the Nonhomologous End Joining). A significant inconvenience stems from the fact NHEJ is not very accurate, and in some cases, additional material could be added, left or replaced by mistake, causing unpredictable mutations which have no purpose.

In other cases, CRISPR doesn’t manage to alter both copies of the gene in a cell. If one of the copies continues to function normally the phenotype-genotype matching becomes more complicated. Unexpected mutations will complicate the work of researchers since it is quite hard to tell if the new phenotype is caused by the mutations which were created intentionally with the help of CRISPR or the unwanted changes caused by the tool and NHEJ. Data obtained during the study and the new procedure will improve the in vivo functional analysis of changes introduced by gene-editing tools, while also facilitating future experiments. The paper was published in a scientific journal.


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