Understanding CRISPR I must confess that the first time I read about CRISPR I was so confused the first minute into it that I had to abandon the article, it was from a movie I was watching that I had first come across the term.
The second time of coming across the awesome concept is in the process of applying for a customer success intern role, what I have come to discover is that for anyone to get a good grasp of the concept, there are certain terms that need to be explained, I’d like to assume that anyone reading this is just looking to get an overview of what CRISPR is about and not looking to get a detailed explanation of its technicalities.
I’ll start will explaining the following terms in ways I have come to understand them;
Genomes: these are like computer programs or applications on your phone, your phone or PC in this situation is the Cell, genomes are the apps which you have on your devices, I’ll have a lot of assumptions about my reader in this write-up and one of these are that I assume you know that the applications running on your devices are made of several other ones.
If my assumptions are right then you’d understand that your genomes are applications in your body and these applications have particular functions and instructions they give to your body, like the flashlight app on your phone tell your phone’s flashlight to come on, so does your genomes pass certain instruction to the right part of your body and these instructions shape who you are as an individual.
Your mental, physical and psychological compositions are determined by these genomes. Also, they are inherited, genomes don’t just pop up, they are inherited from your parents, who inherited it from theirs and up the chain.
The DNA is the language with which the exact instructions are programmed into the genomes. Hence, DNA is a major constituent of the human cell, without it we are nobodies.
Now, it is known that certain instructions passed through our DNAs contain errors or inadequacies like a poor immune system, imperfect physical appearance, allergies, and more, these errors/mistakes in our DNAs sometimes cause us great difficulties, and in the past, we are forced to live with these difficulties and also pass them on to our offspring. CRISPR is the game-changer has it is the science of changing these imperfections, what CRISPR does is simply replace the errors in our genome with a new one, this helps us battle our imperfection even before they happen, the process involves the swapping of defective DNAs with corrected/modified ones through the help of the guiding-RNA which identifies and facilitates the correction of our DNAs.
Given that almost everything has its own downside, the CRISPR technology is not spared, worries mount by people who believe easy access to a DNA editing tech is dangerous for human evolution, as they crave for perfection climbs. The legality of CRISPR and the moral validness are things I leave to the reader to justify according to their own beliefs.
The speed of science and technology in this century has been astonishing and with the looks of things, man is not slowing down anytime soon and the world is here to see, judge, refuse or accept, whatever new discoveries science brings forth. Evil or Good should be left to the ones who benefitted or rejects a science.
Thing is, this write-up will not give you the full grasp of the process, nor will it make you an expert on the subject, every reader is advised to research more about this beautiful technology and give feedback. Before, I forget, the process, unlike several other great technologies is quite cheap to conduct, while researches are still ongoing, and issues of ethics are raging in the field, the Science of CRISPR has made a stand and showed us it's here to stay.
If you'd like to learn more, the following references helped in the formation of this article and they will help you get a better grasp.
Thanks for reading!!!