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‘No-Cut’ CRISPR Activates Genes Without Altering DNA

To avoid off-target mutations, scientists at the Salk Institute modified CRISPR to become a gene activator instead of a gene editor.

Published On 12/08/2017
7:32 AM EST
T T he gene-editing tool CRISPR is one of the most exciting developments in modern genetics and also one of the most controversial. Described as a pair of “molecular scissors,” the CRISPR system employs an enzyme called Cas9 that binds to target sites on the genome and makes a cut in the DNA. Scientists hope to use CRISPR’s scissors to edit out genetic mutations that cause disease and replace them with healthy DNA.
Salk Institute
Researchers from left: Hsin-Kai (Ken) Liao, Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, and Fumiyuki Hatanaka | Salk Institute