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A technique used for editing genomes.

Use in clinical context

CRISPR stands for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats. In nature, it forms part of bacterial defence against viruses, consisting of a short guide RNA that directs an enzyme to a specific DNA sequence. This system has been co-opted and modified by scientists for use outside bacteria, and can be used to disable a section of DNA, remove a part of the DNA sequence and/or insert new parts of DNA in any organism, including humans. It can also be used to identify infectious organisms by releasing a signal if the CRISPR detects the infectious organism’s DNA. Such tests can be used to differentiate between infections that present with similar symptoms.

Last updated on 8th December, 2020