CRISPR enables gene editing on an unprecedented scale (2023)

CRISPR/Cas9 is a technique that enables very specific and rapid modification of DNA in the genome, the complete set of genetic instructions in the organism.

This image illustrates genome editing. It is adapted from the Spooky Pook DNA illustration. Credit: Welcome Images.

The CRISPR/Cas 9 technique is one of many tools for gene editing. Many prefer the CRISPR/Cas9 technique because of its high degree of flexibility and precision in cutting and splicing DNA. One of the reasons for its popularity is that it allows genetic engineering to be carried out on an unprecedented scale at very low cost. It differs from previous genetic engineering techniques in that it allows multiple genes to be inserted or removed at once. This allows very rapid manipulation of many different genes in a cell line, plant or animal, shortening the process from a few years to a few weeks. It also differs in that it is not species-specific, so it can be used in organisms that were previously resistant to genetic engineering.

The technique has already been explored for a large number of applications in fields from agriculture to human health. In agriculture, it could help design new grains, roots and fruits. In healthcare, this could pave the way for the development of new treatments for rare metabolic disorders and genetic diseases ranging from hemophilia to Huntingdon's disease. It is also used in the creation of transgenic animals to produce organs for transplant into human patients. The technology is also being explored for gene therapy. Such treatment aims to introduce normal genes into the cells of people suffering from genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis, hemophilia or Tay Sachs disease. Many new companies have been established to exploit the technology commercially, and large pharmaceutical companies are also exploring its use for drug discovery and development.

The importance of CRISPR/Cas9 was recognized by the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuel Charpentier on October 7, 2020. What was lost in the awarding of the prize is the important role that many others, including Virginius Siksnys, played in helping to develop gene editing.

In 1987, a Japanese team of scientists from Osaka University noticed a strange pattern of DNA sequences in a gene belonging to Escherichia coli, a microbe that lives in the intestines. The gene appears to have five short repetitive DNA segments separated by short non-repetitive "spacer" DNA sequences. All five repeated segments had identical sequences consisting of 29 bases, the building blocks of DNA. Instead, each of the "spacer" sequences had its own unique sequence, consisting of 32 bases. Microbiologists had never seen such a pattern before. By the late 1990s, however, they began to discover, with the help of new improvements in DNA sequencing, that this pattern prevailed in many different types of microbes.

The pattern was so common that it got its own name: "cluster of regularly spaced short incisors," or CRISPR for short. The term was coined by a group of Dutch scientists led by Rudd Jansen from the University of Utrecht in 2002, who in the same year noticed that another set of sequences always followed the CRISPR sequence. They named this second set of sequences "Cas genes", short for CRISPR-associated genes. Cas genes have been shown to encode enzymes that cut DNA. By 2005, three scientific groups had independently concluded that the "spacer" sequences between CRISP sequences shared similarities with viral DNA and hypothesized that they could be a tool in the bacteria's defense mechanism.

The knowledge of how the CRISPR/Cas 9 system works was discovered through some experiments conducted in 2007 by scientists at Danisco, a Danish food manufacturer that was later acquired by DuPont. The team infected the milk-fermenting microbe, Streptococcus thermophilius, with two strains of the virus. Many of these bacteria were killed by the viruses, but some survived and went on to produce progeny that were also resistant to the viruses. Further research showed that the microbes incorporated DNA fragments from the virus into their spacer sequences and that they lost resistance whenever the new spacer sequences were cut out.

In 2008, Eugene Koonin and his colleagues at the National Center for Biotechnology Information in Bethesda, Maryland, first demonstrated how the CRISPR/Cas 9 machines work. Whenever bacteria encounter an invader, such as a virus, they copy and integrate segments of DNA into their genome as "spacers" between short DNA repeats in CRISPR. The "spacer" segments provide a template for bacterial RNA molecules to recognize any future DNA from an incoming virus and help direct the Cas 9 enzyme to cut it and inactivate the virus.

Four years later, in August 2012, a small team of scientists led by Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, and Emmanuelle Charpentier of Umea University, published a paper showing how to use the natural CRISPR-Cas9 system as a tool to cut any DNA. a strand in a test tube. Not long before that, another researcher, Virginijus Siksnys of the University of Vilnius, independently submitted a paper to Cell clarifying the gene-editing potential of CRISPR-CAS9 at work. The publisher Cella rejected the manuscript without sending it for review. Siksys finally published his paper in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences in September 2012. A year later, in January 2013, a number of researchers in different labs published papers within weeks of each other showing how the CRISPR/Cas 9 system could be used for genome editing in human cells. These include teams led by Doudna, Feng Zhang of the MIT-Harvard Broad Institute, and George Church of Harvard Medical School.

A number of changes are now underway to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the CRISPR-Cas 9 technique. An important advance has been the development of new Cas9 fusion proteins that act as core processors. Fusion proteins allow the conversion of cytosine to uracil without cutting the DNA. Uracil is then transformed into thymine by DNA replication or repair. The first database editors were created in 2016 by Alexis Komor and colleagues in David Liu's lab at Harvard University.

The CRISPR/Cas 9 system was first used by Danisco in 2008. The company used it to improve the immunity of bacterial cultures against viruses, and many food manufacturers now use the technology to make cheese and yogurt. Since then, the technology has been used to delete, insert and modify DNA in human cells and other animal cells grown in Petri dishes. Scientists also use it to create transgenic animals such as mice, rats, zebras, pigs and primates. Between 2014 and 2015, scientists reported the successful use of CRISPR/Cas 9 in mice to eradicate muscular dystrophy and treat a rare liver disease, and to make human cells immune to HIV. It is also being tested in combination with pluripotent stem cells to obtain human organs from transgenic pigs. Such work aims to address some of the shortcomings of human organs for transplantation and to address some of the side effects caused by organ transplantation, such as graft-versus-host disease. The technology is also being explored as a way to genetically engineer insects to eradicate insect-borne diseases such as mosquito-borne malaria and tick-borne Lyme disease.

In April 2015, a Chinese team reported the first application of CRISPR/Cas9 to (non-viable) human embryos. This development, along with the reduced cost of the technology, has fueled a major bioethical debate about how much the technology should be used. The technology faces two major problems.

The first question is a philosophical dilemma. It focuses on the extent to which CRISPR/Cas9 should be used to alter the "germline" cells - eggs and sperm - that are responsible for passing genes on to the next generation. Although it will be many years before it becomes viable to use the technology to create designer babies, the public debate has already begun. The fear is so great that some scientists, including some who helped pioneer CRISPR/Cas9, have called for a moratorium on its use in germ-line cells.

Another issue concerns security. One of the main problems is that the technology is still in its infancy and knowledge about the genome remains very limited. Many scientists warn that the technology still needs a lot of work to increase its accuracy and to ensure that changes made in one part of the genome do not lead to changes elsewhere that could have unintended consequences. This is a particularly important issue when using the technology for applications aimed at human health. Another critical issue is that when an organism, such as a plant or an insect, is modified, it is difficult to distinguish it from the wild type and when released into the environment can threaten biodiversity.

Policymakers are still debating what limits should be placed on the technology. In April 2015, the US National Institutes of Health issued a statement stating that it would not fund any research using genome editing tools such as CRISPR in human embryos. Meanwhile, the UK's Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, which would oversee such research, has shown that CRISPR/Cas9 technology can be used on human-animal hybrid embryos as young as 14 days old. Any researcher working in this area should first get permission from the body. Other leading UK research councils have said they support the continued use of CRISPR/Cas9 and other genome-editing tools in preclinical research.

As regulators debate what restrictions should be placed on CRISPR/Cas9, the technology has become the subject of a major patent dispute. The first patent application for this technology was filed by DuPont in March 2007 (WO/2007/025097). This covers the use of technology to develop phage-resistant bacterial strains for food, feed, cosmetics, personal care and veterinary products. Since then, three well-funded biotech startups and six universities have applied for patents. Two major competing patent applications have been filed in the US. The first, submitted on May 25, 2015, is based on work by Jennifer Doudn at the University of California, Berkeley, and Emmanuelle Charpentier, first at the University of Vienna and now at the Helmholz Center for Infectious Research in Germany. The application has 155 claims and covers numerous applications for different types of cells (US Patent Application No. PCT/US2013/032589). The second, submitted by the MIT-Harvard Broad Institute on December 12, 2012, for a paper by Feng Zhang that focused on the use of CRISPR/Cas9 for genome editing in eukaryotic cells. It received fast-track status and was granted on April 15, 2014 (US Patent No. 8,697,359). In April 2015, Charpentier and the universities of California and Vienna filed a challenge to the patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office. It will take several years to resolve the patent dispute. Legal disputes over patents are unlikely to affect the use of CRISPR for basic research because the technology is available through open source repositories. However, this could affect the clinical applications of the technique.

This scientific profile was written by Lara Marks in June 2016 with generous contributions from Silvia Camporesi, Xiofan Zeng and Jonathan Lind. The piece was updated by Lara Marks in October 2020.

The CRISPR mechanism was published for the first timeMore clustered DNA repeats found in other bacteria and archaea, called short regularly spaced repeats (SRSRs)The term CRISPR-Cas9 was first publishedJennifer Doudna and Jillian Banfield began researching CRISPRFrench scientists suggest that CRISPR spacers can provide cellular immunity against phage infection and degrade DNAAmerican researchers have identified new families of Cas genes that appear to help protect bacteria from invading virusesExperiments show for the first time the role of CRISPR together with Cas9 genes in protecting bacteria from virusesDNA, not RNA, has been shown to be the molecular target of most CRISPR-Cas systemsScientists have coined the term "protospacer" to refer to the viral sequence that corresponds to the "spacer" in the CRISPR-Cas9 systemScientists have characterized the RNA editing pathway in the CRISPR systemScientists have published an RNA gene silencing pathway involved in the CRISPR-Cas mechanismProposed classification of CRISPR-Cas systemsEmmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna joined forces to research the Cas9 enzymeFirst commercialization of CRISPR-Cas technology 9The first patent application for CRISPR-Cas 9 technology has been filedPublication of a radical new method of gene editing using the CRISPR-Cas9 systemScientists from the University of Vilnius have published a paper that clarifies the ability of CRSIPR/Cas9 to edit DNAFast Track Application for CRISPR-Cas 9 Technology Submitted to US Patent Office.CRISPR-Cas is used to edit the human genomeCRISPR-Cas is used to edit the zebrafish genomeCRISPR-Cas appears to program the repression and activation of gene transcriptionCRISPR-Cas is used to edit the genome of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a type of yeast used in winemaking, baking and brewingCRISPR-Cas-mediated gene regulation appears to help regulate endogenous bacterial genesCRISPR-Cas was used to engineer the rat genomeCRISPR-Cas is used to engineer the genomes of plants including rice, wheat, Arabidopsis, tobacco and sorghumImprovements made to the specificities of the CRISPR-Cas systemScientists suggest that CRISPR/Cas9 used with stem cells could yield human organs from transgenic pigsUS scientists are calling for a voluntary global moratorium on the use of genome editing tools to modify human reproductive cellsThe National Institutes of Health has said it will not fund any use of genome-editing technologies on human embryosThe UK Nuffield Council on Bioethics has established a new working group to review institutional, national and international policies and regulations relating to genome editingThe first report of genes edited in human embryos sparked a global ethical debate on gene editing technologyLeading UK research councils, including the MRC, have said they support the use of CRISPR-Cas9 and other genome-editing techniques in preclinical researchThe Hinxton Group issues a statement saying that most of the ethical and moral questions raised about CRISPR and gene editing have already been discussedThe Hinxton Group issues a statement saying that most of the ethical and moral questions raised about CRISPR and gene editing have already been discussedThe UK Nuffield Council on Bioethics held its first workshop to identify and define the ethical issues associated with the development of genome editing researchBritish scientists have applied for permission to genetically modify human embryos to study the role of genes in the early days of human fertilizationA new protein, Cpf1, has been found to offer a means to streamline gene editing.CRISPR/Cas9 modified 60 genes in pig embryos in first step to create organs suitable for human transplantsUNESCO's International Committee on Bioethics has called for a ban on genetic editing of the human germlineAmerican scientists have published a technique to replace the changes made by CRISPR/Cas 9American scientists have genetically modified mosquitoes using CRISPR/Cas9 to prevent transmission of the malaria parasiteThe International Summit on Human Gene Editing convened to discuss the scientific, medical, ethical and governance issues associated with recent advances in human gene editing researchThe gene-editing tool, CRISPR, has been successfully used to improve muscle function in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophyAmerican scientists have published an improved version of CRISPR/Cas 9 with a lower risk of untargeted DNA breaksBritish scientists authorized to genetically modify human embryos using CRISPR-Cas 9US scientists publish new base-editing technique that offers ways to alter genomes without breaking double-stranded DNA or donor DNA template2016: NIH greenlights first clinical trial using CRISPR/Cas 9 gene-editing tool to treat patientsThe US National Academies of Sciences and Medicine have given the green light to proceed with CRISPR in germ experimentsCRISPR has been shown to be a sensitive diagnostic tool for detecting individual DNA or RNA target moleculesResearch has been published showing how CRISPR-CAS9 can be used to eradicate HIV in infected mice.Research published showing potential to edit gene defects in pre-implanted human embryos to prevent inherited heart diseaseDNA of human embryos edited with CRISPR-Cas9 to study the causes of infertilityChinese scientists report correction of gene linked to beta thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder, in human embryos using base-editing techniqueNew CRISPR technique for RNA editing publishedImprovements in base editing for the CRISPR technique have been announced, providing the means to change individual chemical letters of DNA without the need to break the DNAResearchers identify pre-existing antibodies that target CAS9 proteins raising the possibility of immune responses that undermine the utility of CRISPR-Cas9 for gene therapyThe first clinical trial of CRISPR-Cas9 has begunThe first genetically modified babies were announced by a Chinese scientistA new technique of gene modification (CRISPRa) allows to increase the expression of the target geneCRISPR-Cas9 editing has helped restore the effectiveness of first-line lung cancer chemotherapyCRISPR-Cas9 is used to control genetic inheritance in miceThe World Health Organization calls on countries to ban experiments that would lead to an increase in the number of babies with modified genesNew DNA editing technique called 'primary editing' published.Chinese scientist convicted of using CRISPR-Cas9 on human babiesThe first patient received CRISPR gene-editing therapy delivered directly into the bodyPublished research casts doubt on the safety of using CRISPR-Cas 9 to modify human embryosNobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna "for the development of a method for genome editing".FDA Greenlights Vertex to Submit Current Application for Review of CRISPR-Based Therapy for Sickle Cell Disease and Beta ThalassemiaA small clinical trial shows promise for the CRISPR tool to edit immune cells to increase their ability to destroy cancer cellsNew CRISPR gene-editing tools found in thousands of phages
Datum An event people Parts
December 1987Amemura, Ishino, Makino, Nakata, Shinagawa, Takase, WachiOsaka University
January 18, 2000Mojica, Diez-Villasenor, Soria, SudacUniversity of Alicante, Miguel Hernandez University
March 2002Mojica, Jansen, Embden, Gaastra, SchoulsUtrecht University
in 2005Duda, BanfieldUniversity of California, Berkeley
August 1, 2005Bulletin, Quinquis, Sorokin, EhrlichNational Institute for Agricultural Research
November 11, 2005Haft, Selengut, Mongodin, NelsonInstitute for Genomic Research
March 23, 2007Barrangou, Horvath, Fremaux, Deveau,Danisco USA Inc
in 2008
February 2008
August 2008Wageningen University, University of Sheffield, National Institutes of Health
December 2008Carte, Wang, Li, TernsUniversity of Georgia, Florida State University
2011
March 2011Duda, Charpentier, Hinek, HauserUniversity of California, Berkeley, Umea University
April 2012Dupont
May 2012Duda, CharpentierUniversity of California, Berkeley, University of Vienna
August 17, 2012Jinek, Chylinski, Fonfara, Hauer,Duda, CharpentierUniversity of California, Berkeley
September 25, 2012Sixnys, Gasiunas, Barrangou, HorvathVilnius University
December 12, 2012ZhangBroad institut, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
January 2013
January 2013
February 2013Where are you from, France?Rockefeller University
March 2013
April 1, 2013Sampson, WeissEmory University
August 2013
August 2013
August 2013
March 2015Feng, Dai, Mou, Cooper, Shi, CaiShenzhen University, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Guangxi University
March 26, 2015Lamphier, Urnov
April 15, 2015
April 22, 2015
May 1, 2015Huang, Liang, Xu, ZhangSun Yat-sen University
September 2, 2015
September 11, 2015
September 11, 2015
September 15, 2015
September 18, 2015RaiseCrick institut
September 25, 2015Zhang, Zetsche, Gootenberg, Abudayyeh, SlaymakerBroad institut, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
November 5, 2015ChurchHarvard University
November 6, 2015
November 16, 2015DiCarlo, Chavez, Dietz, Esvelt, ChurchHarvard University, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich
November 23, 2015Gantz, Jasinskiene, Tatarenkova, Fazekas, Macias, Bier, JamesUniversity of California San Diego, University of California Irvine
December 1, 2015baltimore,Duda, Church, ZhangAmerican National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine American National Academy of Medicine Chinese Academy of Sciences Royal Society
December 31, 2015Nelson, Gersbach, Hakim, Ousterout, ThakoreDuke University, University of Missouri, University of North Carolina, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University
January 6, 2016Kleinstiver, Pattanayak, Prew, Tsai, Nguyen, Zheng, JoungHarvard University
February 1, 2016NiakanCrick institut
May 16, 2016Komor, Kim, Packer, Zuris, LiuHarvard University
June 21, 2016JuneUniversity of Pennsylvania
February 2017
April 13, 2017Abudayyeh, Bhattacharyya, Collins, Daringe, Donghia, Dy, Essletzbichler, Freije, Hung, Joung, Koonin, Lee, Livny, Myhrvold, Regev, Sabeti, Gootenberg, Verdine, ZhangBroad Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
May 13, 2017Yin, Zhang, Qu, Chang, Putatunda, Xiao, Li, Zhao, Dhai, Qin, Mo, Young, Khalili, HuTemple University, University of Pittsburgh, Sichuan University
August 2, 2017Hong, Marti-Gutierrez, Park, Mitalipov, Kaul, Kim, Amato, BelmontOregon Health and Science University, Salk Institute, Center for Genome Engineering, Seoul National University, National Gene Bank of China,
September 2017Fogarty, McCarthy, Snijders, Powell, Kubikova, Blakeley, Lea, Elder, Wamaitha, Kim, Maciulyte, Kleinjung, Kim, Wells, Vallier, Bertero, Turner, NiakanFrancis Crick Institute, Cambridge University, Oxford University, Seoul National University
September 23, 2017Liang, Ching, Sun, Xie, Xu, Zhang, Xhiong, Ma, Liu, Wang, Fang, Songyang, Zhou, HuangSun Yat-sen University, Baylor School of Medicine
November 25, 2017Zhang, Cox, Gootenberg, Abudayyeh, B Franklin, Kellner, Essletzbichler, Verdine, Joung, Lander, Belanto, Voytas, RegevMassachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Minnesota
November 25, 2017Gaudelli, Komor, Rees, Packer, Badran, Bryson, LiuMassachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University
January 5, 2018Charlesworth, Deshpande, Dever, Dejene, Gomez-Ospina, Mantri, Pavel-Dinu, Camarena, Weinberg, PorteusStanford University
August 27, 2018Vertex Pharmaceuticals, CRSIPR Therapeutics
November 24, 2018JiankuiSouthern University of Science and Technology of China
December 14, 2018Matharu, Rattanasopha, Tamura, Maliskova, Wang, Bernard, Hardin, Eckalbar, Vaisse, AhituvUniversity of California San Francisco
December 21, 2018Kmiec, Bialk, Wang, HanasHelen F Graham Cancer Center and Research Institute
January 23, 2019Grunwald, Gntz, Poplavski, Xu, Bier, CooperUniversity of California San Diego
July 30, 2019
November 21, 2019Anzalone, Randolph, Davis, Sousa, Koblan, Levy, Chen, Wilson, Newby, Ranguram, LiuMassachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University
December 30, 2019JiankuiSouthern University of Science and Technology of China
March 4, 2020CentOregon Health and Science University
June 2020Francis Crick Institute, Columbia University, Oregon Health and Science University
November 7, 2020Duda, CharpentierUniversity of California, Berkeley, Umea University
September 27, 2022
November 10, 2022Foy, Ribas, MandlPACT Pharma
November 23, 2022Al-Shayeb, Skopintsev, Soczek, Stahl, Zheng Li, Smock, Eggers, Pausch, Cress, Huang, Staskawicz, Savage, Jacobsen, Banfield,DudaUniversity of California, Berkeley

December 1987

The CRISPR mechanism was published for the first time

January 18, 2000

More clustered DNA repeats found in other bacteria and archaea, called short regularly spaced repeats (SRSRs)

March 2002

The term CRISPR-Cas9 was first published

in 2005

Jennifer Doudna and Jillian Banfield began researching CRISPR

August 1, 2005

French scientists suggest that CRISPR spacers can provide cellular immunity against phage infection and degrade DNA

November 11, 2005

American researchers have identified new families of Cas genes that appear to help protect bacteria from invading viruses

March 23, 2007

Experiments show for the first time the role of CRISPR together with Cas9 genes in protecting bacteria from viruses

in 2008

DNA, not RNA, has been shown to be the molecular target of most CRISPR-Cas systems

February 2008

Scientists have coined the term "protospacer" to refer to the viral sequence that corresponds to the "spacer" in the CRISPR-Cas9 system

August 2008

Scientists have characterized the RNA editing pathway in the CRISPR system

December 2008

Scientists have published an RNA gene silencing pathway involved in the CRISPR-Cas mechanism

March 2011

Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna joined forces to research the Cas9 enzyme

April 2012

First commercialization of CRISPR-Cas technology 9

May 2012

The first patent application for CRISPR-Cas 9 technology has been filed

August 17, 2012

Publication of a radical new method of gene editing using the CRISPR-Cas9 system

September 25, 2012

Scientists from the University of Vilnius have published a paper that clarifies the ability of CRSIPR/Cas9 to edit DNA

December 12, 2012

Fast Track Application for CRISPR-Cas 9 Technology Submitted to US Patent Office.

January 2013

CRISPR-Cas is used to edit the human genome

January 2013

CRISPR-Cas is used to edit the zebrafish genome

February 2013

CRISPR-Cas appears to program the repression and activation of gene transcription

March 2013

CRISPR-Cas is used to edit the genome of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a type of yeast used in winemaking, baking and brewing

April 1, 2013

CRISPR-Cas-mediated gene regulation appears to help regulate endogenous bacterial genes

August 2013

CRISPR-Cas was used to engineer the rat genome

August 2013

CRISPR-Cas is used to engineer the genomes of plants including rice, wheat, Arabidopsis, tobacco and sorghum

August 2013

Improvements made to the specificities of the CRISPR-Cas system

March 2015

Scientists suggest that CRISPR/Cas9 used with stem cells could yield human organs from transgenic pigs

March 26, 2015

US scientists are calling for a voluntary global moratorium on the use of genome editing tools to modify human reproductive cells

April 15, 2015

The National Institutes of Health has said it will not fund any use of genome-editing technologies on human embryos

April 22, 2015

The UK Nuffield Council on Bioethics has established a new working group to review institutional, national and international policies and regulations relating to genome editing

May 1, 2015

The first report of genes edited in human embryos sparked a global ethical debate on gene editing technology

September 2, 2015

Leading UK research councils, including the MRC, have said they support the use of CRISPR-Cas9 and other genome-editing techniques in preclinical research

September 11, 2015

The Hinxton Group issues a statement saying that most of the ethical and moral questions raised about CRISPR and gene editing have already been discussed

September 11, 2015

The Hinxton Group issues a statement saying that most of the ethical and moral questions raised about CRISPR and gene editing have already been discussed

September 15, 2015

The UK Nuffield Council on Bioethics held its first workshop to identify and define the ethical issues associated with the development of genome editing research

September 18, 2015

British scientists have applied for permission to genetically modify human embryos to study the role of genes in the early days of human fertilization

September 25, 2015

A new protein, Cpf1, has been found to offer a means to streamline gene editing.

November 5, 2015

CRISPR/Cas9 modified 60 genes in pig embryos in first step to create organs suitable for human transplants

November 6, 2015

UNESCO's International Committee on Bioethics has called for a ban on genetic editing of the human germline

November 16, 2015

American scientists have published a technique to replace the changes made by CRISPR/Cas 9

November 23, 2015

American scientists have genetically modified mosquitoes using CRISPR/Cas9 to prevent transmission of the malaria parasite

December 1, 2015

The International Summit on Human Gene Editing convened to discuss the scientific, medical, ethical and governance issues associated with recent advances in human gene editing research

December 31, 2015

The gene-editing tool, CRISPR, has been successfully used to improve muscle function in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy

January 6, 2016

American scientists have published an improved version of CRISPR/Cas 9 with a lower risk of untargeted DNA breaks

February 1, 2016

British scientists authorized to genetically modify human embryos using CRISPR-Cas 9

May 16, 2016

US scientists publish new base-editing technique that offers ways to alter genomes without breaking double-stranded DNA or donor DNA template

June 21, 2016

2016: NIH greenlights first clinical trial using CRISPR/Cas 9 gene-editing tool to treat patients

February 2017

The US National Academies of Sciences and Medicine have given the green light to proceed with CRISPR in germ experiments

April 13, 2017

CRISPR has been shown to be a sensitive diagnostic tool for detecting individual DNA or RNA target molecules

May 13, 2017

Research has been published showing how CRISPR-CAS9 can be used to eradicate HIV in infected mice.

August 2, 2017

Research published showing potential to edit gene defects in pre-implanted human embryos to prevent inherited heart disease

September 2017

DNA of human embryos edited with CRISPR-Cas9 to study the causes of infertility

September 23, 2017

Chinese scientists report correction of gene linked to beta thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder, in human embryos using base-editing technique

November 25, 2017

New CRISPR technique for RNA editing published

November 25, 2017

Improvements in base editing for the CRISPR technique have been announced, providing the means to change individual chemical letters of DNA without the need to break the DNA

January 5, 2018

Researchers identify pre-existing antibodies that target CAS9 proteins raising the possibility of immune responses that undermine the utility of CRISPR-Cas9 for gene therapy

August 27, 2018

The first clinical trial of CRISPR-Cas9 has begun

November 24, 2018

The first genetically modified babies were announced by a Chinese scientist

December 14, 2018

A new technique of gene modification (CRISPRa) allows to increase the expression of the target gene

December 21, 2018

CRISPR-Cas9 editing has helped restore the effectiveness of first-line lung cancer chemotherapy

January 23, 2019

CRISPR-Cas9 is used to control genetic inheritance in mice

July 30, 2019

The World Health Organization calls on countries to ban experiments that would lead to an increase in the number of babies with modified genes

November 21, 2019

New DNA editing technique called 'primary editing' published.

December 30, 2019

Chinese scientist convicted of using CRISPR-Cas9 on human babies

March 4, 2020

The first patient received CRISPR gene-editing therapy delivered directly into the body

June 2020

Published research casts doubt on the safety of using CRISPR-Cas 9 to modify human embryos

November 7, 2020

Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna "for the development of a method for genome editing".

September 27, 2022

FDA Greenlights Vertex to Submit Current Application for Review of CRISPR-Based Therapy for Sickle Cell Disease and Beta Thalassemia

November 10, 2022

A small clinical trial shows promise for the CRISPR tool to edit immune cells to increase their ability to destroy cancer cells

November 23, 2022

New CRISPR gene-editing tools found in thousands of phages

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