Rewriting The Code Of Life.
This long read by Michael Specter informs us of one aspect of the story behind editing of DNA in order to eliminate persistently recurring diseases like Lyme disease, even deadlier ones that have plagued the human race for centuries, like malaria, schistosomiasis, and cancer. The gene-editing tool used is known as CRISPR. The advantages and fears over abuse of the tool are also discussed here. This article profiled the life of Kevin Esvelt, a biological geneticist who eschews covert scientific research, much to the chagrin of the scientific community who guards their research privacy assiduously. His present labours takes him to the Nantucket community, where his team is studying Lyme disease.
CRISPR, which stands for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, are segments of prokaryotic DNA containing short, repetitive base sequences. Each repetition is followed by short segments of spacer DNA from previous exposures to foreign DNA, e.g., a virus or plasmid. Small clusters of cas (CRISPR-associated system) genes are located next to CRISPR sequences.
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