The gene-editing technology CRISPR is already making a huge difference across many scientific fields, but its importance could be about to grow even further – scientists have discovered a new technique that can leave out particular sections of a gene, essentially ‘skipping’ them.
This new method, called CRISPR-SKIP, could be used to control how genes are expressed and regulated. For treating conditions caused by mutations in the genome, like Duchenne muscular dystrophy and Huntington’s disease, that could be invaluable.
The research team from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have highlighted the ways their new tool improves on current CRISPR techniques in certain scenarios.
“Given the problems with traditional gene editing by breaking the DNA, we have to find ways of optimising tools to accomplish gene modification,” says one of the team, Pablo Perez-Pinera.
“This is a good one because we can regulate a gene without breaking genomic DNA.”