The genome editing toolbox now includes CRISPR-Cas3, which enables "chewing
up" of DNA with high speed and efficiency.
CRISPR-Cas9 has been widely used in agricultural improvement, biomedical
research, and food science. It is described as a molecular scissor because
of its ability to create a single double-strand break at a target site along
the DNA. After cutting a section of the DNA, the cell's ability to repair
DNA is used to discard or add nucleotides. A more precise tool, CRISPR-Cas12
(also known as CRISPR-Cpf1), was also developed and used by researchers.
Another tool known as CRISPR-Cas3 was reported in Molecular Cell.
CRISPR-Cas3 is different from the two CRISPR tools because of its ability to
erase long sequences of DNA in eukaryotes like plants and animals. This new
CRISPR tool does not make a break, but chews up the DNA with high speed and
effectivity. Furthermore, it is highly specific and programmable, making it
a promising tool to advance science.