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Learning Genetics (2)

CRISPR-Cas9 system – A Kind of a Memory
Carmen Lobitz
Let’s say it in English
DNA is the molecule that carries genetic information in the chromosomes of eukaryotes. © ktsdesign – Fotolia

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Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna discovered the CRISPR-Cas9 system in 2011.

Now, only a couple of years later, no scientist using genetic engineering would work without the “gene scissorsGenschere. The CRISPR-Cas9 has revolutionized the methods of genetics.

What does CRISPR-Cas9 mean?

CRISPR means “Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats” and they occur as short DNA repeats (length 23–47 bp) within of the genomes of Archaea and bacteria.

The CRISPR process comprises three parts: there are two RNA-molecules involved – the CRISPR RNA, the tracr RNA and also an endonuclease (an enzyme) which is called Cas9 (formerly called Csn1). Cas stands for “CRISPR associated”. Endonucleases are enzymes which cut up DNA or RNA. Cas9 is a pair of sharp molecular scissors, guided by an RNA molecule.

Remember: DNA and RNA are the polymeric molecules that carry…

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