CRISPR is a precise genome editing tool which enables scientists to directly edit DNA within cells.
There are two main components of CRISPR: guide RNA and the enzyme Cas9. The guide RNA is specific to the gene to be targeted and directs Cas9 to its complementary DNA sequence. Here, Cas9 creates a break in the DNA which is then fixed by the cell’s natural repair enzymes.
Scientists can use this technology to selectively modify target genes by rewriting their sequence or to switch genes on or off. By modifying the target sequence of the guide RNA, one can target different, precise locations in the genome.
This video can be found on the .com site for AstraZeneca in the Media section as well as the most popular video on the AstraZeneca YouTube channel. Clips from this animation are also featured in the BBC News Article titled ‘AstraZeneca drive to develop drugs from genome project‘.