Using CRISPR for the first time managed to edit multiple genes at the same time

On pages of our site we have repeatedly written about the achievements in using CRISPR genome. Technology is constantly evolving, becoming more advanced and much more effective allowing you to interact with genetic material. However had NOTICED and minus (minus is very conditional, but still). CRISPR could work with one gene at a time. And in order to change another gene, it was necessary to conduct a second operation. However, the Swiss biologists were able for the first time in the history to edit multiple genes. And this is very important for the development of the whole science in General.

What is CRISPR

Strictly speaking, the full name of the technology sounds like “CRISPR/Cas9”. It is based on the particular areas of bacterial DNA, CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short terminating in short palindromic Repeats — clustered short palindromic repeats). Between these repeats are DNA fragments. They are, roughly speaking, and provided a benchmark for the work of the CRISPR.

And where does Cas9? Cas9 is a CRISPR-associated proteins (CRISPR-associated sequence). That is, they can say that will interact only with CRISPR and nothing “too much is not cut”. In fact, we have something like a “molecular scissors” which, like regular scissors, able to cut things in only one place at a time. But how to make them work on several DNA regions at the same time?

As scientists have been able to edit multiple genes at the same time

According to New edition of the Atlas with reference to the journal Nature Methods, a group of researchers from the Swiss higher technical school of Zurich (ETH Zurich) demonstrated that their new process of editing genes can simultaneously edit up to 25 different sites of the genome. Scientists say the new method is not necessarily limited to 25 targets, and theoretically can be increased up to hundreds of concurrent modifications of genes.

Instead of applying traditional Cas9 protein, used in most cases when working with CRISPR, this method uses far less known Cas12a. Previous studies have already shown that the enzyme Cas12a a bit more accurate in its ability to identify the target genes, but a new study shows that Cas12a can also handle shorter sections of the molecule compared to Cas9.

General working procedure CRISPR-Cas aimed at a target in a DNA sequence using a so-called guide RNA. These RNA molecules, as scientists call them, are a sort of room signs on the houses. These “signs” and guided CRISPR, cutting out the necessary areas. Experts from Switzerland managed to place on the DNA molecule several “plates”. Thus in one operation it is now possible to edit multiple sections.