CRISPR is an acronym for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat. “This name refers to the unique organization of short, partially palindromic repeated DNA sequences found in the genomes of bacteria and other microorganisms” (SITN Harvard, 2014). CRISPR has already accomplished two things in its short existence. It has changed how research is conducted and our approach to treating diseases. This genome editing tool gets down to how to manipulate, program and reprogram DNA. Find out more about your DNA and how we can make changes to it for your help through CRISPR.
DNA stands for the scientific term “deoxyribonucleic acid”. Because that term is such a mouthful, we simply refer to it as “DNA”. This is a long molecule in your body, and the bodies of all cells and organisms that carry a unique genetic code. Your genetic code is unlike any other person’s, even if it is somewhat similar to a parent or sibling. Some refer to your DNA as a “recipe book” for how to make the proteins in your body. You need those proteins in order to survive and for your body to function correctly.
Your body’s “recipe”—or set of genetic instructions—tells your body how to grow and perform everything properly. DNA is made up of two strands of molecules, which are in a twisted-ladder type of pattern. You may have seen these strands in academic classes or in movies, and they are usually represented with white and red molecules. This DNA is made up of building blocks that are known as “adenine” (A), “cytosine” (C), “guanine” (G), and “thymine” (T). Basically, these blocks are ordered and make a sequence.
A always pairs with T and C always pairs with G. These essentially make up the rungs of that ladder. That sequence forms the instructions in your genetic code. Your DNA will repeat over and over. The strands (or rungs of the ladder) separate during DNA replication. This is a basic overview of your DNA so that you can understand CRISPR.
CRISPR stands for “Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat”. To put it simply: CRISPR is a genome-editing tool derived from the cells of bacteria that edits your DNA. A genome is a set of genes or genetic material in a cell or organism. In this case, that organism would be you that is receiving genetic engineering in order to function better. CRISPR uses the immune defense system in bacteria to make changes to the sequences in your DNA. We introduce double-strand breaks in specific genes that will give you a certain desirable outcome.
CRISPR “allows scientists to edit genomes with unprecedented precision, efficiency, and flexibility.” If we make a cut at a certain DNA sequence, we can take out undesirable traits and add in desired traits. For example, scientists made changes to genomes that prevented HIV infection in human cells. This same gene-editing can be used for all types of cells.
CRISPR is exciting because we can make changes to cells and organisms that will help make medicines effective against certain diseases or conditions. CRISPR can also make changes to DNA that may very well cure genetic diseases. We believe in using natural methods to make changes in the body. CRISPR is a naturally-occurring, defense mechanism that is found in bacteria. We can use this mechanism to prevent you from showing traits from a disease you carry or block symptoms of chronic conditions.
This is very exciting for our patients who have struggled with a disease or ailment all their life! There are still many strides being taken with CRISPR technology, but the possibilities are endless when it comes to helping your body. Whether we utilize CRISPR or other therapies such as stem cells to heal your ailments, our goal is to help make your life better.
The International Society for Stem Cell Research describes stem cells as the foundation cells of our body. They are like extra cells that your body can use anywhere. Stems cells are actually recruited every day of your life to help repair and replace damaged tissues and cells. They are found within every person and help your body’s healing process. Stem cells are amazing because these type of cells can transform into the same type of cell that was injured in your body in order to heal the damage. We use them to help heal injured ligaments, tendons, tissues and bones.
We specialize in finding ways to use what your body has naturally (such as stem cells or your DNA) to help fix ailments, injuries and other issues in the body. That is why we are excited about stem cells and about CRISPR. Most people would like to avoid surgery and other invasive procedures to heal their injuries and help them deal with chronic conditions. You can do that through CRISPR and our work with stem cells. To find out more about CRISPR or the work we do to help our patients, call Stem Cell Centers at (877) 808-0016 today!