May 1, 2021

Harvard scientists create gene-editing tool that could rival CRISPR

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics

Harvard’s Wyss Institute has created a new gene-editing tool that enable scientist to perform millions of genetic experiments simultaneously.

Researchers from the Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have created a new gene-editing tool that can enable scientists to perform millions of genetic experiments simultaneously. They’re calling it the Retron Library Recombineering (RLR) technique, and it uses segments of bacterial DNA called retrons that can produce fragments of single-stranded DNA.

When it comes to gene editing, CRISPR-Cas9 is probably the most well-known technique these days. It’s been making waves in the science world in the past few years, giving researchers the tool they need to be able to easily alter DNA sequences. It’s more accurate than previously used techniques, and it has a wide variety of potential applications, including life-saving treatments for various illnesses.

However, the tool has some major limitations. It could be difficult to deliver CRISPR-Cas9 materials in large numbers, which remains a problem for studies and experiments, for one. Also, the way the technique works can be toxic to cells, because the Cas9 enzyme — the molecular “scissors” in charge of cutting strands of DNA — often cuts non-target sites as well.

Leave a reply