Fixing Genetic Diseases with the CRISPR Process


By: Katie Chong

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Scientist Shoukhrat Mitalipov, from Oregon Health & Science University has successfully used the CRISPR process (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) to fix genetic defects responsible for causing serious diseases. The CRISPR process was first introduced in 2012 and it is essentially a pair of molecular scissors capable of accurately cutting into DNA sequences. However, when it was first introduced, it was unknown whether it was able to repair DNA. Mitalipov experimented on human embryos (only single celled) with genetic heart defects to see if the disease could be reversed. Surprisingly, the CRISPR was able to not only splice out the mutated gene, but repair it with the correct gene. Several days later, 72% of the embryos showed no sign of the mutated gene.

This relates to engineering since scientists have applied knowledge of anatomy and bio engineering in order to solve and issue.