A gene-editing biotechnology, shorthand for CRISPR-Cas9.
Clustered - Regularly - Interspaced - Short - Palindromic - Repeats
An enzyme that cuts a target section of DNA
CRISPR was first discovered in E. coli bacteria in 1987, but its function as part of the immune system was not discovered until 2007.
CRISPR involves a protein named Cas9, which recognizes the DNA of foreign invaders in the cell.
Cas9 is found in bacteria's immune systems. In bacteria, Cas9 recognizes enemy DNA of bacteriophages and cuts the DNA up, destroying the virus.
After cutting it up, the CRISPR-Cas9 genes also store the invader's genes in their database to quickly attack any similar phages.
These pairings are important because when two strands or sequences of DNA are combining together, they need to fit together. DNA is made up of individual puzzle pieces that needs to fit with the other puzzle pieces of the other DNA sequence.
If we want to bind to a specific sequence of DNA, we send in its complimentary sequence with the right puzzle pieces or nucleotide sequence. This special sequence will only bind to its target sequence.