New CRISPR-Based Technique Edits Whole Genes | AIChE

New CRISPR-Based Technique Edits Whole Genes


A new method of gene editing that combines the defenses of bacteria with the weapons of viruses can snip out and replace entire genes rather than correcting individual mutations.

The method, which researchers have dubbed “programmable addition via site-specific targeting elements” (PASTE), could be promising for genetic disorders — such as cystic fibrosis — caused by hundreds or thousands of mutations to a gene. Other methods of gene editing can be used to correct such mutations, but either only work in dividing cells, not mature (quiescent) cells, or can introduce new errors when they cut the DNA strands to insert the new sequences.

Many gene-editing methods struggle to deliver long genetic sequences. Since some genes are tens of thousands of individual genetic bases long, this limitation forces researchers to pick a short disease-causing mutation in a gene to fix. Researchers typically pick the most common mutations to target, leaving patients with less-common mutations behind, says Omar Abudayyeh, a McGovern Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT’s) McGovern Institute for Brain Research...


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