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0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica}Alaswad 1Fauwaz AlaswadDr. Heather WheelerBiology 388October 30, 2017Genome Editing By CRISPR-Cas9Throughout the centuries, researchers have always put the effort to explore thevarious organisms available on earth.

Though, there was always more focus on the study ofhow the human body function, and most importantly on how to treat the diseases that affecthumans. However, since the discovery of the DNA double helix, many technologies weredeveloped as each one had specific objective. For example, polymerase chain reaction orPCR, provided ways to isolate, and mutate genes. The latest technology that pushed genomeengineering to the next level is the use of RNA-guided CRISPR-Cas9 (clustered regularlyinterspaced palindromic repeat.

) The CRISPR-Cas9 consist of two RNA sequences,tracrRNA and crRNA, that were engineered into a single RNA called single guideRNA(sgRNA). Furthermore, the sgRNA was designed so that its 5′ side binds to the targetDNA site, while the 3′ binds to enzyme Cas9; which cuts the target DNA strands at a specificlocation guided by sgRNA.CRISPR-Cas9 originated from the bacteria immune system which memorizes theinvading viruses though taking DNA segments (CRISPR) of the virus; when the virus attacksagain, a RNA is generated from the CRISPR to attack the virus and cut its DNA with the helpof enzyme Cas9. The use of CRISPR-Cas9 in humans or animals is used by designing asgRNA that binds specifically to the DNA of interest, next the Cas9 enzyme cuts both strandsof the target DNA. Then, the cell recognizes a damaged DNA and signals to repair it; afterrepairing, the designed RNA (which at this moment is in the DNA) will introduce changes tothe genes in the genome. The CRISPR-Cas9 breakthrough technology differs from otherDNA manipulating technologies as it is easy to use and efficient. To provide an example, thezinc finger-mediated DNA binding technology, which uses proteins that recognizechromosomal sequence to edit a targeted genome, weren’t used widely as difficulties such asdesigning proteins synthesis kept its use limited.

The use of genome editing technologies such as CRISPR-Cas9 have enabled changesinto human’s genes in order to understand and cure diseases. Indeed, the CRISPR-Cas9 holda hope to change genes that are responsible for complex disease such as heart diseases.However, with this advantageous technology, a society or people may want to go beyondcuring diseases to change or edit the genes of an egg and a sperm to have kids with specifictraits. In my opinion, editing genes for egg and sperm to have babies with maybe freediseases and special traits, is unacceptable. Furthermore, I believe its unethical to change thenature of how humans are born; in other words, every human has different characteristic ortraits that differentiate him or her from another person.

The diversity of humans would bereduced with the use of CRISPR-Cas9 technology or may be eliminated if used for decades.However, if I assume it is ethical to be used for eggs and sperm cells, there is the issue ofaffordability where the technology may be affordable for some people while not for others.Alaswad 2Nevertheless, I believe genome editing should be applied only to somatic cells that stays withthe person; the edited cells don’t pass to children.

As previously mentioned, curing diseasesthat affect people should be the main and only objective that CRISPR-Cas9 technology beapplied into humans. In fact, I believe that genome editing should be regulated so that it willnot be applied into gene changes of egg and sperm cells.The CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing have the bright potential to be applied intodifferent aspects that effect our life. One of the future applications can be in agriculturewhere crops can be modified to fight diseases; also, the same can be said about animals,especially the ones that are about to extinct due to various diseases.

Other applications thatmay benefit from CRISPR-Cas9 include drug target identification where the genome editingtool screens to identify the cellular target and its mechanism.In conclusion, the genome editing tools have advanced throughout the years, in whichthey enabled many researches to explore disease whether it’s for humans or crops and curethem. The latest technology of CRISPR-Cas9 introduced an easy way to change the gene of atarget DNA with an easy technique. However, the CRISPR-Cas9 will certainly have animpact on our society from crops to drugs to the diseases people have. In short, the CRISPRCas9technology should be applied to everything except into eggs and sperm cells.Alaswad 3ReferencesBesser, Richard. SPLICING AND DICING DNA: GENOME ENGINEERING AND THECRISPR REVOLUTION.

World Science Festival, 3 June 2016,www.worldsciencefestival.com/programs/splicing-dicing-dna-genome-engineering-crisprrevolution/.Doudna, Jennifer A., and Emmanuelle Charpentier.

The New Frontier of Genome Engineeringwith CRISPR-Cas9. N.p.: http://science.

sciencemag.org, n.d. PDF.”What is CRISPR-Cas9?” Yourgenome, The Public Engagement team at the WellcomeGenome Campus, 19 Dec.

2016, www.yourgenome.org/facts/what-is-crispr-cas9.”What Are Genome Editing and CRISPR-Cas9?” U.S. National Library of Medicine, NationalInstitutes of Health, 24 Oct.

2017, ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/genomicresearch/genomeediting.


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