Israeli scientists have developed a method to control the quality of the human genome, which will allow for the use of DNA technologies to treat and prevent diseases.
PhD, Global Chief Scientific Officer at Ornament Health AG
Precise to the gene level
The CRISPR system uses microscopic scissors as the genome-editing tool to cut DNA and fix it after edits. The method is applied for the treatment of some genetic disorders, and the sphere of its applications is constantly expanding. According to molecular biologist Dr. Ayal Hendel of Bar Ilan University, precision is one of the main problems.
"Each gene has its own ‘address’ that we use to target the CRISPR editing system. But sometimes there is a lack of accuracy and 'scissors' go to the wrong place," Dr. Hendel says. Dr. Hendel has developed a method that helps to assess, with an unprecedented level of accuracy, how many mistakes can arise when using the tool for genome editing and where they occur. Nature Communications magazine has published a scientific report on this invention.
Dr. Hendel’s software is already available for download. It will enable scientists to make quick corrections of mistakes while editing the genome. It is also capable of discovering false negatives, which are instances when the system doesn't show any issues with editing while they are present.
Precision under control
The new system can be used to assess and demonstrate the degree of precision of the developed CRISPR systems. It can be useful when, for example, the developer needs to prove to the regulating authority that the system cuts the DNA where it is required.
It can also be used when it is necessary to assess the level of accuracy of the CRISPR system while it is in the development stage. If the precision is below standards, the developer can make quick corrections.
Source: Times of Israel
09 August 2021
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