Feng Zhang's latest gene editing trawl reels in 188 new CRISPR systems
The next wave of gene editing technology could come from bacteria living in Antarctic lakes, coal mines or even dog saliva, and those are just a few of the odd places where scientists have identified 188 new CRISPR systems that could be repurposed as gene editing therapies, diagnostic sensors or research tools.
Scientists are racing to discover CRISPR enzymes or similar gene-altering nucleases that could lead to new and improved gene editing techniques — or at least newly patentable ones. Much like the taxonomists of yore who vied to discover and name new plants and animals, there’s a strong urge for biologists to be the first to catalog the natural diversity of CRISPR systems.
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