Gene editing technologies let scientists change the DNA of an organism which leads to changes in physical traits, like eye or hair color. It is like a scissor cutting the DNA at a particular spot to remove, add, or replace the DNA where it was cut.

The first-ever gene-editing technology was developed in the late 20th century, and the latest genome editing tool was invented in 2012, which is called CRISPR.

Compared to previous gene-editing technologies, CRISPR offers more accurate editing methods, and it is also simpler, faster, and cheaper. Most scientists today use CRISPR to perform gene editing.

There are many things to know about gene editing as there are many creepy connotations about it. What most people do not know is that it could be the answer to curing the diseases present today or solve the food shortage to feed the whole world. Here are some facts about gene editing.

Gene Editing Can Fix Harmful Genes

Organisms do not have perfect genes which may sometimes cause debilitating diseases or disorders. Through gene editing technologies, it can alter these harmful characteristics so that the offspring do not suffer the same inherited diseases.

May it be an animal, human, or plant, gee editing can fix these genetic problems. For instance, it can fix the genes that might make someone more vulnerable to blindness; or in crops, it can develop pest- and disease-resistant varieties.

Law On Gene Editing Varies Wildly Across the World

There are no international laws yet governing gene-editing technologies on the human genome. But different countries have laws implementing the regulation of genome editing, according to Nature.

For example, human genome editing is prohibited in many countries, including much of Europe, because its long-term effect is not yet well understood. But in the US, China, Japan, Ireland, and India, it is not banned. Nonetheless, many long for international guidelines in germline editing human genome.

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Watch Out For CRISPR

CRISPR was first developed in 2012 at the University of California, Berkeley. It is a method of gene editing that shows enormous potential. This technology was adapted from a naturally occurring gene-editing system in bacteria, according to Forbes.

The human body contains over 37 trillion cells, and each cell has a nucleus that contains DNA which takes up 10% of the mass of the cell. It seems impossible to cut something as tiny as the DNA but with the CRISPR method, that impossible becomes possible.

As of now, CRISPR is the most accurate way of identifying the location of a specific DNA strand to be cut. It is also simpler and cheaper than the previous methods.

Pigs Are The Heart of Gene Editing Experiments

Gene editing experiments have been executed before and many of which are on animals. Dogs, goats, monkeys, and pigs have all been part of the CRISPR zoo.

But among those four commonly used animals, it is the pigs that are in the frontline of gene editing experiments, according to Nature. From the small pigs that weigh six times lesser than farm pigs to the big pigs, they have been part of the success in gene editing technologies.

Scientists have edited in 62 places of the pig in an effort to produce suitable non-human organ donors in the future.

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