The idea of using gene editing to treat disease or alter traits dates to at least the 1950s and the discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA.
The first targeted genomic changes were produced in yeast and in mice in the 1970s and 1980s [3-6]. … The current genome editing technologies resolved this issue, making directed genetic manipulations possible in essentially all types of cells and organisms [8,9].
1985: Discovery of Zinc Finger Nuclease (ZFN)
Possibly the first technique for highly targeted genome engineering, the discovery of zinc finger nucleases (ZFN) improved the effectiveness of gene targeting in several ways.
Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna share the award for developing the precise genome-editing technology. It’s CRISPR. Two scientists who pioneered the revolutionary gene-editing technology are the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry.Oct 7, 2020
“There are currently no good antiviral drugs available for COVID-19. CRISPR can efficiently destroy the virus.” At the core of the research is an enzyme (CRISPR-Cas13b) that binds to target RNAs and degrades the part of the virus’ genome needed to replicate inside cells.
Researchers conducted the first experiments using CRISPR to edit human embryos in 2015. Since then, a handful of teams around the world have begun to explore the process, which aims to make precise edits to genes. But such studies are still rare and are generally strictly regulated.
|Revenue||US$289.59 million (2019)|
|Operating income||US$46.74 million (2019)|
|Net income||US$46.74 million (2019)|
|Total assets||US$1.067 billion (2019)|
Jennifer Doudna is the biggest household name in the world of CRISPR, and for good reason, she is credited as the one who co-invented CRISPR. Dr. Doudna was among the first scientists to propose that this microbial immunity mechanism could be harnessed for programmable genome editing.
The resulting CRISPR sequences then allowed the bacteria to detect an attack and fight back. But the key breakthrough came in 2012, when teams in the US and Europe led by Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier showed how the defence system could be turned into a ‘cut and paste’ tool for editing gene sequences.
|December 1987||The CRISPR mechanism first published|
|18 Jan 2000||More clustered repeats of DNA identified in other bacteria and archaea, termed Short Regularly Spaced Repeats (SRSR)|
|March 2002||Term CRISPR-Cas9 published for first time|
The cost of treatment is a concern
Treating sickle cell disease with CRISPR therapy, Doudna said, costs about $2 million a patient.
In many countries, editing embryos and germline modification for reproductive use is illegal. As of 2017, the U.S. restricts the use of germline modification and the procedure is under heavy regulation by the FDA and NIH. … In 2019, World Health Organization called human germline genome editing as “irresponsible”.
A lab experiment aimed at fixing defective DNA in human embryos shows what can go wrong with this type of gene editing and why leading scientists say it’s too unsafe to try. In more than half of the cases, the editing caused unintended changes, such as loss of an entire chromosome or big chunks of it.
The first genome editing technologies were developed in the late 1900s. More recently, a new genome editing tool called CRISPR, invented in 2009, has made it easier than ever to edit DNA.
Crispr Gene Editing Can Cause Unwanted Changes in Human Embryos, Study Finds. Instead of addressing genetic mutations, the Crispr machinery prompted cells to lose entire chromosomes.
New Details About The Infamous ‘CRISPR Babies’ Experiment Have Just Been Revealed. More than a year ago, the world was shocked by Chinese biophysicist He Jiankui’s attempt to use CRISPR technology to modify human embryos and make them resistant to HIV, which led to the birth of twins Lulu and Nana.
A Chinese scientist who shocked the medical community last year when he said he had illegally created the world’s first gene-edited babies has been sentenced to three years in prison by a court in southern China. … He’s colleagues, Zhang Renli and Qin Jinzhou, were handed lesser sentences and fines.
The big concern about CRISPR is that the editing could go awry, causing unintended changes in DNA that could cause health problems. There’s also some concern about this new wave of studies because they are the first to get approved without going through an extra layer of scrutiny by the National Institutes of Health.
CRISPR has already been shown to help patients suffering from the devastating blood disorders sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia. And doctors are trying to use it to treat cancer and to restore vision to people blinded by a rare genetic disorder.
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