What does "gene scissors" CRISPR look like? You can see it for yourself!
What does "gene scissors" CRISPR look like? You can see it for yourself!
It's a vague video, but it's still exciting.

this is a vague video, very short, and I can't seem to see it very clearly. But it's still exciting: here, you can witness first-hand a gene editing tool loved by scientists on a molecular scale.

Yes, this is CRISPR-Cas9, a hot topic in the scientific community in recent years. You can think of it as a pair of "genetic scissors" that can be accurately cut. What we see at the end of the video is how it "cuts" the DNA molecule.

the system works like this: Cas9 is an endonuclease, the guy in charge of cutting DNA open, and it doesn't cut it randomly, it listens to the guide. The wizard is a RNA combined with Cas9, and the combination will only cut off the DNA where the DNA fragment matches the wizard's RNA sequence.

this set of things originally exists in bacteria, it is a bit like the "immune system" in bacteria, which can store and recognize foreign invading bacteriophage DNA sequences, and then send "gene scissors" to cut. The ability to cut DNA at a fixed point makes CRISPR an important gene editing prop in the hands of scientists. Now, this editing tool has a wide range of applications in many fields. for example, some research teams are experimenting with it to treat various genetic diseases, and others have edited the genes of Agaricus bisporus in this way. to keep them beautiful and light for a long time.

the video we saw came from a group of Japanese researchers who recorded the facts of CRISPR-Cas9 using a high-speed atomic force microscope. In fact, the imaging process of the atomic force microscope is more like "touching" than "looking": it uses a slender probe to get close to these molecules and "fumble" what the molecules look like. The paper was recently published in the journal Nature Communications. Through intuitive observation and recording, the researchers also obtained more detailed information about the process.

We can all understand this technology from reports and textbooks, but the charm of "seeing with our own eyes" is still irreplaceable, and this is also the moment when I feel the beauty of science.

Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/11/crispr-video-real-time/545603/

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original thesis: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-01466-8#MOESM5