April 23, 2015
CHE 128- Sista
Current Event article
Improving Accuracy in Genome Editing
A few years ago science only had the ability to imagine genome editing and all the benefits it could bring to society, however it is now in the works of becoming non-fiction as research has significantly improved. Certain proteins in the body such as Cas9 and CRISPR are responsible for the human genetics and the creation of the immune system. The ability to edit these proteins and change their make up can benefit people with many serious present and future health risks.
When speaking on the topic of genetically engineering the human body many challenges arise such as, improving the specificity of the proteins at the rate at which genome-editing proteins modify the target DNA sequence. However, this huge challenge that science has yet to overcome is slowly being resolved by Chemistry Professor David Liu.
Liu and his team have recently used a ...view middle of the document...
Next, Liu explains the importance of genome editing proteins and how they are not like traditional biochemistry. Genome editing proteins only need to be active for very limited times and controlling and understating this activity is crucial.
Although genome editing and drug therapy may seem similar because of the results they bring to cells, they are on two different spectrums. Genome editing is not a “steady state process” like drug therapy for example, if the drug is not supplied to enzymes on a consistent bases the bacteria enzymes can regain activity. As for genome editing, the proteins will be targeted one time reliving bacteria from enzymes. Liu described, “we want to achieve is a short burst of genome editing activity sufficient to modify the one or two target copies of a gene, and then you want to get rid of the genome-editing activity and never allow it to return to the cell." Liu and his team have achieved the ability to create short burst activity in Cas9 giving them more control over the genomes.
With more research and improvement on Cas9 and CRISPR these proteins will become doors to genome editing, significantly benefiting the human health. However, it is explained in the article that Liu stresses the importance of have a great understanding of this technology and insure that the benefits out way the risk. Liu said, “Scientists and other members of society must make sure the development and application of these tools is done thoughtfully."
This article topic connects to many of the key concepts that we learn about in class. Most of the information falls under our understanding of DNA and biochemistry. We have done many studies on the living cell and the different roles that are played through out the cell. We also know that different proteins and enzymes control how we create energy and how we are genetically made up as humans. In this article it is shown how science is taking advantage of these cells to better human health. In order to be successful scientist must learn to understand and control certain biochemical tools such as proteins.