#1: Can CRISPR Tackle Zika?
CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) is a relatively new biotechnology that allows the user to target specific genetic codes within DNA and edit them, working like a pair of DNA scissors with a copy & paste button. CRISPR is easier and cheaper than previous gene editing technologies and has been highly regarded as a breakthrough tool for correcting genetic conditions and even infectious diseases through gene drive. Whether it be the latest announcement that CRISPR reversed Huntington’s Disease in mice or that it could provide rapid diagnostic improvements, the technology is being considered a breakthrough for many diseases and conditions, including vector-borne diseases.
By harnessing the power of gene drive, CRISPR could ensure that edited genes are passed down through all generations. Harnessing the power of gene drive means that instead of 50% of offspring getting a gene passed down (the natural process), and researchers can ensure that all offspring inherit the altered gene. In short, harnessing the gene drive gives us the capability to make sure that a specific gene is passed down through all generations of an organism.
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