For a long time, scientists have been trying to manipulate genes. Recently, University of Pittsburgh in USA Alexander Deiters finds a wayto control this processwith higher accuracy . Light is what he uses. Deiters and his team for the first time achieve the technologybreakthrough.they publish study results on the Journal of Chemistry "Journal of the American Chemical Society"recently.Since 2013, scientists had begun using an gene editing tools called CRISPR/Cas9. This method is to use a bacterial derived protein (Cas9) and a synthetic guide RNA, causing double strand breaks at specific locations of the genome. This allows researchers to remove a gene, changing its function, or introducing a desired mutation.In fact, CRISPR (short palindromic repeat DNA sequences clustered in regular intervals) method has shown great prospects, which enables researchers to treat cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia, establishes experimental animal modelsimulating human disease and cultivates wheat lines resistant to powdery mildew disease. (Extended reading: http://www.creative-animodel.com/Animal-Model-Development/Animal-Models-of-Disease.html)Professor of chemistry Deiters at the University of Pittsburgh School of Arts and Sciences Kenneth P. Dietrich and colleagues at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, through a series of experiments, find a lysine residue (lysine is an amino acid) in Cas9 which can be replaced by analogues activated by light.This method developed by Deiters, generates a non-functional Cas9 protein called "caged". The "cage" will be removed only by exposure to activate enzyme and thereby to activate gene editing.Deiters said: "this method can make people better design cells or animal genes than ever with space and time control. Previously, if you want to knock outa gene, it is limited to control the time and place genes appear. The design of a light switch in Cas, provides a more accurate editing tool. You can say, 'in this cell, at this point, at this time when I want to modify the genome regions'."Deiters points out that, after the improvement and with the passage of time, controlling the place in which a gene will be manipulated may contribute to the elimination of "distance effect", and may make to an unknown resolution on genetic research hitherto.
CRISPR is a genetic manipulation technology that consists in eliminating DNA sequences and replacing them through the introduction of other sequences, which determines functional changes in genes.
The CRISPR technology is based on the genome of bacterias and archaesa, capable of acquiring viral genome sequences to make them immune to the attack of these biological agents. CRISPR is usually associated with an RNA, known as a guide, that contains a nucleotide sequence identical to the one to be modified in the target DNA. Additionally, it is related to Cas9 protein, an enzymatic complex that is responsible for cutting the sequence to be replaced.
Currently, research with this technology is aimed at the prevention and treatment of diseases of genetic origin - such as sickle cell disease, thalassemia or hemophilia - as well as eliminating the genetic predisposition to suffer from chronic diseases.
The possibilities are endless and, given this type of research -which has been in development for about 6 years- we are seeing the real possibility of creating superhumans, resistant to diseases and with improved characteristics.
Clinical trials in humans are far from possible, but the progress of science and the need for tools to eliminate the disease and increase the life expectancy of man.