NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – A pair of studies that appeared online today in Science demonstrated that repeats found in bacterial genomes that act as a sort of bacterial immune system can be repurposed as a tool to enable genome editing.

The two sets of researchers independently drew upon the ability of the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, or CRISPR, system to direct, site-specific cleavage of DNA using short RNAs. In particular, both groups turned to the CRISPR-associated CAS9 nuclease to form the basis of their genome editing tools.

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