Dozentin: Prof. Emmanuelle Charpentier
The CRISPR-Cas9 system has recently emerged as a transformative technology in biological sciences, allowing rapid and efficient targeted genome editing, chromosomal marking and gene regulation in a large variety of cells and organisms. The system consists of Cas9, an enzyme that can be programmed with RNA guides to target site-specifically any DNA sequence of interest. The system is efficient, versatile and easily programmable.
CRISPR-Cas9 research has developed into one of the most dynamic and fastest-moving fields in life sciences and holds great promise for future biotechnical and biomedical applications. The CRISPR-Cas9 system is remarkably simple in its design, close to a plug-and-play method, which can therefore be easily leveraged for a large variety of different gene targeting. Application of the system has been extraordinarily broad, including among many others the generation of transgenic animals, genetic modification of various eukaryotic cell types, and genetic modification of plants and crops. Already, the CRISPR-Cas9 system is an integral and critical part of the toolbox for any researcher who intends to manipulate genetic information by means of targeted introduction or correction of mutations, replacement of genes, modification of DNA or modulation of transcription in any cell or organism - and the applications of this breakthrough technology are continuing to increase at a rapid pace.
I will discuss the original biological role of CRISPR-Cas9 as an adaptive immune system in bacteria, the mechanisms involved, the evolution of the natural system and the applications of CRISPR-Cas9 as a novel genome engineering technology.