CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology can target virtually any genomic location of choice by utilizing a short RNA guide, then cut the sequence with the Cas9 protein. Compared with traditional gene editing technologies, the CRISPR-Cas9 system is both faster and more efficient. The CRISPR-Cas9 system currently has a wide variety of applications in gene engineering and bio-medicine, such as gene editing in model organisms and cell cultures to further investigate the relationship between genetic variation and biological function. Other examples of CRISPR-Cas9 utilization include cultivation of new, robust seeds that are more resistant to extreme environments, or transgenically modified corn to enable the production of low-cost fuels.

  1. Genetic and epigenetic control of cells through genome engineering technologies is enabling a broad range of applications, from basic biology to biotechnology and medicine.
  2. Causal genetic mutations or epogenetic variants associated with altered biological function or disease phenotypes can now be rapidly and efficiently recapitulated in animal or cellular models.
  3. Manipulating biological circuits could also facilitate the generation of useful synthetic materials, such as algae-derived, silica-base diatoms for important agricultural crops to confer resistance to environmental deprivation or pathogenic infection, improving food security while avoiding the introduction of foreign DNA.
  4. Sustainable and cost-effective biofuels are attractive sources for renewable energy, which could be achieved by creating efficient metabolic pathways for ethanol production in algae or corn.
  5. Direct in vivo correction of genetic or epigenetic aberrant variation in somatic tissue could be a permanent genetic solution to genetically encoded disorders.
  6. Finally, engineering cells to optimize high yield generation of drug precursors in bacterial factories could significantly reduce the cost and accessibility of useful therapeutics. In addition to precise gene, the CRISPR-Cas9 system has many other potential applications, such as genome screening, endogenetic gene transcription, and genomic loci imaging.