So far, CRISPR and CRISP-Cas9 have all been about editing DNA. RNA, however, could also be used to treat many diseases, possible better. Enter CasRx.
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RNA, the molecules that run instructions from the DNA are different. Changes to RNA are not permanent as they are with DNA. That could mean changes to RNA mean fewer risks.
In March’s Cell, researchers from the Salk institute announced a new CRISP enzyme that can edit RNA specifically. Researchers conducted tests on patients with a particular type of dementia, in which tau proteins have built up to unhealthy levels. The new version of CRISPR has able to fix those tau protein levels.
It’s being called CasRx, because of the promise it holds for medicine.
“It’s absolutely inspired by our vision of it’s therapeutic potential” – Patrick Hsu, team lead