Biologist Explains One Concept in 5 Levels of Difficulty – CRISPR

Biologist Explains One Concept in 5 Levels of Difficulty – CRISPR

WIRED has challenged biologist Neville Sanjana to explain this concept to 5 different people; a 7 year-old, a 14 year-old, a college student, a grad student and a CRISPR expert.

Wired, 2017

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Gene editing has been around for decades, but CRISPR technology has scientists dreaming up new experiments. This gene editing system can specifically modify the genome of various species including our own. While some have raised ethical concerns, researchers are only slowly beginning to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the CRISPR system. In the future, doctors could treat diseases with this new technology and usher in a new field of medicine. Anyone who is interested in the latest trends in genetics and medicine will find this video informative.


CRISPR technology allows scientists to target and edit specific regions in the DNA.

Researchers have managed to successfully edit genes in the past but CRISPR technology has provided them with an affordable and more precise tool. They first identified the CRISPR system in bacteria as a protein known as Cas9. Scientists can use Cas9 together with a designed guide RNA to precisely target regions of the genome and modify them. Variants of the CRISPR system exist in different bacterial species, which enables researchers to use it in various ways. For example, some...

About the Speaker

Dr. Neville Sanjana is a biologist at New York University and the New York Genome Center. His work has been published in journals such as Nature and Science.

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