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Shane Behn


Mrs. Wilson



CRISPR is a new technology that makes gene editing much faster and less expensive.

CRISPR makes short RNA sequences that match the DNA and was discovered by Jennifer

Doudna in 2014. This new technology is advancing fast and is going to change the future of gene

editing forever, whether you like it or not.

CRISPR is a new way of gene editing. It is short for clustered regular interspaced short

palindromic repeats. It is a much faster, cheaper and more accurate way to edit genomes than

other techniques used before CRISPR. How does it work? CRISPR sequences are transcribed

into short RNA sequences. The RNA sequences are capable of guiding the system to the

matching DNA sequence. When the system finds the specific DNA sequence Cas9, an enzyme

that act as molecular scissors, binds to the specific part of the DNA and cuts it, which then

shuts that gene off. After that, that part of the DNA can be added or removed. This system works

because the RNA sequences made from using CRISPR match the corresponding DNA sequences


Before CRISPR, gene editing was a very long and expensive process. Over the years

scientist have learned a lot about genetics by studying the effects of changes in DNA. They did
this by creating a change in a gene and then studying the effect of that change to understand the

function of that gene. Another thing scientist used to do is, they would use chemicals and

radiation to cause a mutation. This was not very efficient because they had no way of controlling

where in the genome the reaction would happen. Also before CRISPR scientists would use gene

targeting to make a change in a specific part of the genome, by removing or adding a whole

gene or a single base. The human genome project was an international scientific research project

with a goal of sequencing and mapping all of the genes in the human genome. This project was

the largest collaborative biological project in the world. Scientists from these countries

participated in the project: The United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Germany,

Canada, and China. The project was launched in 1990 by the United States government and was

completed in 2003. The project had a budget of about $3 billion but ended up coming in under

budget at about $2.7 billion, all funding for the project came from the United States government.

This project paved the way for CRISPR.

Without Jennifer Doudna discovering CRISPR, gene editing would not be as efficient.

She discovered CRISPR on April 15, 2014. She came across it when doing a project on bacteria.

How was it developed? Bacteria have similar built-in gene editing system similar to the CRISPR

system that is used to respond to invading things such as viruses. Using CRISPR the bacteria cut

out a part of the virus DNA, keeping it so that when the virus comes back it can defend against

the virus. Scientist have modified the system so it can be used on animals and humans.
Ever since Jennifer Doudna discovered CRISP a lot has been going on. Before CRISPR

the breakthroughs in genetics have been pretty slow, but since CRISPR there is new

breakthrough almost every day. One of the most recent breakthroughs happened in China, in

October 2016. Scientist in China have injected the first human with cells modified by CRISPR.

On October 28, 2016, the modified cells were delivered to the patient with aggressive lung

cancer. This is was a clinical trial and took place at the West China Hospital. The introduction of

CRISPR has made things like this simpler and more efficient than techniques used in the past.

Things like this will accelerate the race to have the first modified human by using CRISPR.

Because of CRISPR, the world of genetics is advancing very quickly and there are so many more

breakthroughs coming.

CRISPR is a new technology that makes gene editing simpler and cheaper. The CRISPR

system works by making and accurate copy of the DNA. Without Jennifer Doudna discovering

CRISPR, gene editing would still take a long time and expensive. CRISPR is changing the world

of genetic very quickly.

Work Cited page


What is CRISPR-Cas9?. December 19, 2016. http://www.yourgenome.org/facts/what-is. Date

Accessed March 08, 2017.

What Is CRISPR, And How Does It Work? Curiosity.com.

https://curiosity.com/topics/what-is-crispr-and-how-does-it-work-curiosity/ Date AccessedMarch 08,


What is CRISPR and what does it mean for genetics?. Cosmos Magazine. Viviane Richter, April

17, 2016 https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/what-crispr-and-what-does-it-mean-genetics

Date Accessed: March 08, 2017

Broad Institute.


about-crispr. Date Accessed: March 08, 2017

CRISPR gene-editing tested in a person for the first time. Nature News. Nature Publishing


88 Date Accessed: March 08, 2017


The Doudna Lab | CRISPR research. h

ttp://rna.berkeley.edu/crispr.html Date AccessedMarch

09, 2017


"Next Big Thing in Genome Modification: the CRISPR/Cas9 System." N ational

Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 20 Apr. 2015.
Web. 09 Mar. 2017.


Jorgensen, Ellen. Ellen Jorgensen: What you need to know about CRISPR | TED Talk |

TED.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2017.

Doudna, Jennifer. J ennifer Doudna: How CRISPR lets us edit our DNA | TED Talk |

TED.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2017.