Olivia's CRISPR-9 Paper.docx - Olivia Williams 1st Period...

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Olivia Williams 9/20/2016 1 st Period Ethical Issues Surrounding CRISPR 9 Gene Editing CRISPR-Cas9 is a unique technology that allows geneticist and medical researchers to edit parts of the genome by cutting out, replacing, or adding parts to the DNA sequence. It is currently the simplest, most versatile, and precise method of genetic manipulation; therefore, it is causing a major buzz in the science world. The CRISPR-Cas9 system consists of two key molecules that introduce a change into the DNA known as an enzyme and a piece of RNA. An enzyme acts as a pair of “molecular scissors” that can cut the two strands of DNA at a specific location in the genome so that bits of DNA can then be added or removed. The RNA consists of a small piece of pre-designed RNA sequence located within a longer RNA scaffold. The scaffold part binds to DNA and the pre-designed sequence “guides” CRISPR-Cas9 to the right part of the genome. This makes sure that the Cas9 enzyme cuts at the right point in the genome.
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