Newly Studied Proteins Expand CRISPR’s Editing Range

The DNA-editing system CRISPR-Cas9 is revolutionizing how scientists approach genetic problems and diseases. Most researchers use a particular version of the Cas9 protein, derived from the bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes, to alter DNA. But other microbes carry their own versions, which cut genes at different locations and could help researchers design more precise and flexible therapies. For a new study published in Nature Communications, researchers analyzed dozens of Cas9 varieties, uncovering broad diversity in how these “molecular scissors” recognize and snip DNA.

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