Cas9 proteins are also often referred to as the CRISPR-Cas9. The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR). This is a technology that edits genomes. This term is used to describe the system of edit DNA at specific locations. It is also used in the areas of diagnosis. With this, the researchers can permanently alter or modify the genes in living organisms and cells. They believe that in the future, it can also be used to treat genetic diseases by mutating the human gene in the precise area where it is needed. This process promises the possibility of a cure for many of the genetic diseases that people suffer from today.
How the Cas9 differs from other tools?
Cas 9 ( CRISPR associated 9) system can cut the DNA strands, so they do not have to be coupled with other enzymes like the other tools have to be. The human DNA strands contain about three billion letters, so this is a significant advantage. Cas 9 can also be used to modify this strand. This helps significantly in correcting hereditary diseases. Another thing that is a real advantage above the other genome editing tools is the fact that the Cas9 can target several genes at the same time. With this technology, scientists can create the cell and animal models faster which allows the research into several diseases like mental illness and cancer, progress more rapid than before.
The Cas system can help the bodies bacteria defend against viruses in what is called bacteriophage. The Cas 9 uses one protein instead of many in order to find and kill off
How does this work?
Viruses enter into the bacteria in your body. When this happens the Cas 9, which is made up of an enzyme that is guided by an RNA and has a nucleus, tracks down this virus and isolates the strand of DNA that contains it. With the Cas 9, the cells can be edited. So can the whole organisms and the tissues. The genome can then be edited allowing for several genetic disorders to be cured.
Although bacteria tend to fight off viruses on its own, it has been found that by changing even just one base pair, there is a vast difference in many diseases. Sickle cell anemia is one that it changes. The Cas 9 protein is a protein that behaves like a ligase. It was discovered when scientists were investigating a bacteria and its immune system.
The Cas 9 has many uses in research. It has the potential to alter an organism or a species. These can be genetically altered easily with the Cas 9. There is no doubt that in the near future this could be used to alter the DNA that is flawed and create a new one, correcting the disease process of different diseases including cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy.
There are researchers that are experimenting with the possibility of making genes work better. One thing they would like to be able to do is to use this process on plants and animals. They want to make a plant for example that needs less water yet grow at the same rate or better than now. Another is to make cows that require less food but make a lot more meat and have more muscle mass.