CRISPR Case Study.docx - Ellie Seamons BIOL 1210 001 Part I...

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Ellie Seamons BIOL 1210 001 Part I 1. Where did the CRISPR system first originate in nature and what is its purpose in that context? When a virus infected a bacteria cell with its own DNA. The CRISPR system recorded the sequence of DNA from the virus before destroying it. CRISPR acted like an immune system by recording viral DNA sequences and saving them for future attack. CRISPR also passed down those sequences to future generations to protect other cells. The cell would then continue to create an RNA copy of the DNA 2. How is Cas9 able to bind to specific sequences of DNA? What does Cas9 do to the sequences it interacts with? Cas9 uses the pieces of RNA to bind to, and then tries to find that same sequence in the DNA to cut up the piece of viral DNA. The CRISPR system first takes the DNA and makes an RNA copy of it, then Cas9 binds to that RNA sequence and uses that same sequence to find the site that matches it in the DNA, and then destroys that particular DNA sequence. 3. What advantage does the CRISPR-Cas9 system offer compared to previous genome editing technologies? It is simpler compared to older genome editing technology because it is programmable so, if there is a piece of DNA that is mutated, a scientist can program the CRISPR/Cas9 system to target that specific DNA sequence using a small piece of RNA. That piece of DNA sequence will be cut and should trigger the cells natural ability to repair that mutation. So, scientists use little manipulation to help repair mutated DNA because they are just using the CRISPR/Cas9 system to create a double stranded break in the DNA that will trigger the DNA to repair itself. 4. David remembers one of his friends discussing how the government should focus funding more on clinical research rather than basic research. His friend felt that basic research in model organisms was not very important anymore since we know so much about genetics. Why are model systems an important part of research? What might David tell his friend about basic research, now that he’s seen this TED video? Please refer to the TED video to answer this question: (< _s_do_it_wisely>) David might tell his friend that new technology should be tested on model organisms first because they are easier to reproduce and grow in the lab. Using model organisms will allow the scientists to create various trials and experiments to study the effect of various variables on the results. It is also much easier to control different variables such as diet and amount of sleep in a model organism because they are grown and taken care of in the lab so scientists control many more factors than they would be
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able to when using humans to test out new technologies. Since this system is usually used in bacteria, this technology needs to be adapted and adjusted to work in human DNA.
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