What is CRISPR?[edit | edit source]
CRISPR is a gene editing technology that originates from an adaptive component of bacterial immune systems that can cut DNA like a precise molecular scissors.  It stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats.
CRISPR is a precision medicine tool that mainly works by finding a specific DNA inside a cell and altering that DNA. CRISPR also works by turning on or off genes without altering their sequence.  The system consists of two parts: a CRISP associated (Cas) nuclease whose role is to connect and cut DNA, and a guide RNA sequense (gRNA) which directs the Cas to its target. 
Watch this video explaining the CRISPR function:
Where is CRISPR used?[edit | edit source]
CRISPR is widely used in scientific research but it may be also used in clinical practice. By allowing scientists to explore the connection of genes to their function and rewrite genetic code, it can be applied to 
- establishing disease reasearch models,
- identifying pathogenic genes,
- screening novel drug targets, and
- developing treatment for curing cancer, genetic conditions such as sickle cell disease and hereditary disorders leading to blindness.
Relevance to physiotherapy[edit | edit source]
Reports suggest the potential of this technology for the study and treatment of conditions such as intervertebral disc pathologies  However, by answering important questions on pathway interactions, simulating related pathologies, and by promoting drug development and therapy,  CRISPR may change the profile and/or the scope of conditions managed in the future by physiotherapists.
Resources[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Synthego. The ultimate guide to CRISPR: Mechanism, applications, methods & more. Available from: https://www.synthego.com/learn/crispr (accessed 22/6/2022)
- Replogle J., Saunders R., Pogson A., Mapping information-rich genotype - phenotype landscapes with genome - scale Perturb -seq. Cell 2022; in press
- Ledford H. CRISPR treatment inserted directly into the body for the first time. Nature 2020; 579:185.
- Sun J-Y., Hu H-B., Cheng Y-X., Lu X-L. CRISPR in medicine: applications and challenges. Briefings in functional genomics 2020; 19(3): 151-153.
- Krupkova O., Cambria E., Besse L., Besse A., Bowles R., Wuertz K. The potential of CRISPR /Cas9 genome editing for the study and treatment of intervertebral disc pathologies. JOR Spine 2018; 1(1):E1003.