CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced repeats shortpalindromic) is a unique organization of repetitive DNA sequences, which are an important part of the immune system of microorganisms (e.g., bacteria). CRISPR has the ability in the event of an attack of a viral infection to destroy its genome, thus preventing its spread.

Using this process, scientists have developed CRISPR technology to modify the DNA of humans, animals and plants. In other words, mankind came close to the possibility of editing genes.

Japanese researcher Osamu Nureki together with their colleagues from the University of Tokyo and Kanazawa University for the first time captured on video the unique footage of the CRISPR-Cas9 system literally “bites” in a DNA segment in real time.

To capture the unique footage was possible thanks to high-speed microscope, which includes a micromechanical cantilever probe. Its pointed end constantly approaching to the sample surface, moving away from her. Changes of the deflections of the cantilever in the process, the microscope detects the laser and using the computer creates the resulting image.

CRISPR technology was first applied in the removal of the HIV genome in mice for genome editing of dogs allowed to breed with increased muscle mass. The editing of genes was able to accelerate the growth of crops and to create new types of antimicrobial treatment. Made by Japanese scientists film will have a deeper understanding of these complex processes.

Source — Nature Communications