Meaning of CRISPR

What is CRISPR:

The DNA sequence in bacteria is called CRISPR, which is obtained from the viruses by which they have been attacked. In this way, bacteria can detect and destroy the DNA of that virus in the future, serving as a bacterial defense system.

This is also known as CRISPR / Cas9 technology, this last acronym refers to a series of nuclease proteins.

The acronym CRISPR is derived from the words in English Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, which are translated into Spanish as "Grouped and Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats."

CRISPR / Cas9 technology is considered a molecular tool that can be used to correct and edit the genomes of any cell.

Its function is to cut the DNA sequence in a precise way to modify it, either by eliminating the cut portion or inserting a new DNA. In this sense, genes are modified.

CRISPR Studies

Studies on CRISPR emerged in 1987, when a group of scientists detected that some bacteria were able to defend themselves against viruses.

There are bacteria that have enzymes capable of distinguishing the genetic material from both the bacteria and the virus, which is why, finally, they destroy the DNA of the virus.

Later, while mapping the genomes of various bacteria, the scientists noticed the repetition of the sequences in bacteria, especially archaea. These sequences were palindromic repeats, and apparently without a specific function.

Said repeats were separated by sequences called "spacers", which were similar to those of other viruses and plasmids.

In turn, these repetitions and spacers were preceded by a leader sequence, which the specialists called, in principle, as "Regularly Grouped Short Repeats", and later as CRISPR, acronyms by which it is currently recognized.

Likewise, it was discovered that there are genes associated with CRISPR sequences, which can encode nucleases, and are known as genes cas. These genes are characterized by having the ability to take a part of the DNA of the virus, modify it and incorporate it into the CRISPR sequences.

Various viruses can enter bacteria and control different cellular components. However, there are bacteria that have a defense system composed of a complex that contains a Cas protein bound to RNA that is produced in CRISPR sequences.

This makes it possible for the genetic material of the virus to be related to said complex and to be inactivated, since the Cas proteins can incorporate it and modify it to the CRISPR sequences. In this way, if in the future you encounter this virus again, you can inactivate it and attack it faster and easier.

After several years of research, CRISPR has become a molecular tool with the ability to edit DNA. It has been tested in various laboratory investigations and scientists believe that it may be a useful technology for the treatment of various diseases.

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