For some time this discovery was interesting only for microbiologists. However, that all changed in 2011, when biologists Jennifer Doudna
and Emmanuelle Charpentier
decided to study the CRISPR mechanism more closely. They found that a protein could be tricked into giving it RNA
. A protein carrying this RNA will look for genetic fragments that match what it carries. Having found a correspondence with unfamiliar DNA, he will begin to grind it, regardless of who it belongs to - a virus, a plant or an animal. As noted in a 2012 paper by Doudna and Charpentier, this mechanism can be used to cut any genome in the right place.
In February 2013, it was shown that CRISPR/Cas9 can be used to edit DNA in cell culture in mice and humans. Furthermore, it turned out that the technology allows not only to remove unnecessary genes, but also to insert others in their place. To do this, it is enough to add enzymes that restore DNA.