Technology

Watch what it actually looks like when CRISPR snips a strand of DNA



The CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technique is an important concept to know about in these days of biotech advances, but it can be pretty difficult to visualize properly. Is it really like molecular scissors? Where does the DNA go? Is it a big molecule or a small one? Fortunately a group has created a 3D animation of the process that shows it at the molecular level.

You can watch the animation, created by biologists at Russia’s Skoltech Institute and the Visual Science organization, below or at the latter’s website:

Wonder how accurate it really is? It got the thumbs-up from none other than Jennifer Doudna, one of the people who helped discover and refine CRISPR techniques:

Molecular animations are an essential way to demystify and explain complex biological systems. Through the use of stunning imagery and attention to detail, Visual Science and Skoltech have captured the dynamic mechanisms of CRISPR-Cas proteins and their use as research tools.

These animations were created as part of a “nonprofit education project,” so if you’d like to license, modify, or otherwise use them for educational purposes, go for it.

Featured Image: Visual Science and Skoltech





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