A Cryo-EM map of a Fanzor protein (gray, yellow, light blue, and pink) in complex with wRNA (purple) and its target DNA (red). Non-target DNA strand in blue. (Courtesy of the Zhang lab)

Meet ‘Fan­zor,’ a cousin of CRISPR and Feng Zhang’s new gene edit­ing tool

Mi­crobes have lost their mo­nop­oly as the sole source of new en­zymes that can be eas­i­ly pro­grammed to make pre­cise ed­its to the genome.

Two in­de­pen­dent teams, both led by sci­en­tists from the Mass­a­chu­setts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy, un­veiled new gene edit­ing tools on Wednes­day based on pro­teins called “Fan­zors” that are found in eu­kary­otes, a broad branch on the tree of life that in­cludes al­gae, fun­gi, plants, and an­i­mals.

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