CRISPR/Cas9 for beginners

The word CRISPR is the abbreviation of Clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats. Here, palindromic is from palindrome that refers to a word that reads the same forward and backward, such as “radar.” In the same way, 5’–GAATTC–3’ reads the same (right to left, or backward) in 3’–CTTAAG–5’ on the complimentary strand.



On the other hand, Cas9 is the abbreviation of CRISPR-associated protein 9. It is an endonuclease causing a double-stranded DNA break. An endonuclease is an enzyme that breaks the phosphodiester bond within a polynucleotide chain.

Nevertheless, CRISPR/Cas9 is a gene-editing technology making it possible to correct errors in the genome and to turn ON or OFF genes in cells. Here, genome refers to genetic material, including DNA and all genes, of an organism.

The laboratory applications of CRISPR/Cas9 include, rapid production of cellular models and live imaging related to the genome.

The clinical applications of CRISPR/Cas9 include, gene therapy, and treatment of infectious diseases, (e.g., HIV).

Zusammenfassung in deutscher Sprache

CRISPR / Cas9 ist eine Gen-Editing-Technologie. Es wird verwendet, um Fehler im Genom zu korrigieren. Klinisch ist es vorteilhaft bei der Gentherapie und Behandlung von Infektionskrankheiten.


Redman, M., King, A., Watson, C., and King, D. (2016) What is CRISPR/Cas9?, Arch Dis Child Educ Pract Ed, 101 (4), pp. 213-5. DOI:10.1136/archdischild-2016-310459

Usman Zafar Paracha

Usman Zafar Paracha is a sort of entrepreneur. He is the author of "Color Atlas of Statistics", and the owner of an Android game "Faily Rocket."