Rice University scientists made base editing safer and more precise by giving it an on/off switch. Their findings are published in Nature Communications.
DNA base editors are tools that use parts of a CRISPR system to change one letter in a base pair. It enables the correction of a point mutation without cutting through the entire DNA.
The researchers designed a particular type of base editor called split adenine base editor (sABE) that can be controlled using a chemically induced dimerization, which works like an on/off switch. This ability to control the function of sABE is vital to prevent unwanted changes to the DNA. Though still in development, this tool can be used in gene therapy and other disease treatments.