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CRISPR-CAS9: An Overview of Modern Genetic Editing

Author(s): Mary Shannon Byers

Gene editing is important for the development of highly productive, disease-resistant animals in agriculture, for the generation of scientific model organisms, and for biomedical research purposes. CRISPR-Cas9 editing processes involve DNA sequence modifications to targeted sites of the genome and can be used to silence undesirable traits in different organisms. Although there were concerns over off-target mutations involved in some of its earlier applications, the Type II CRISPR-Cas9 system has been demonstrated to produce mutations only at the targeted genomic site without inducing mutations at other functional regions of the genome. The CRISPR-Cas9 system has been utilized in various food production applications and in a variety of biomedical research studies on animal subjects and is considered safe for use in plants, non-human animals and primates, as well as for the therapeutic study of human diseases.

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