Astronauts show how CRISPR gene editing works in space

CRISPR gene editing is not confined to Earth. Astronaut Christina Koch and scientists have efficiently demonstrated CRISPR-Cas9 in space for the primary time, utilizing it as a part of a brand new approach to break DNA and examine how it repairs in microgravity. “Technical and safety concerns” had prevented earlier research like this, in accordance with the researchers.

The experiment produced a very damaging double-strand DNA break in a yeast cell tradition aboard the International Space Station. Koch accomplished the take a look at nicely earlier than this (many of the provides reached the ISS in May 2019), however the findings weren’t obtainable till this previous week.

The new strategy clears the way in which for different analysis round DNA restore in space. With sufficient work, the scientists hope they will replicate the genetic injury from ionizing radiation, to not point out different results from long-term spaceflight. That, in flip, might assist NASA and different businesses develop expertise that shields astronauts and makes deep space exploration sensible. There’s an opportunity CRISPR would possibly play an necessary function in getting humans to Mars and past.

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