A World In Which We Are The Same

What are genes

A Quick Lesson on The History of Genomics

What DNA is and what it’s made of

This describes how DNA looks like

The Second Type Of Nucleic Acid, RNA

  1. Messenger RNA or mRNA. This is what the DNA uses first. The messenger RNAs purpose is to transcribe genetic information from the DNA to the amino acids, which make up protein. I’ll go into what transcription is later but the overall purpose of the messenger RNA is to copy the DNA information, store it, and then transport it to the amino acids which will make protein. Well, the question might be, why can’t the DNA do it itself and not use the RNA? The reason is that it can’t leave the nucleus because it risks getting damaged.
  2. Transfer RNA or tRNA. Next up is the transfer RNA. What’s interesting about this RNA is while the other two RNAs are generally single-stranded, tRNAs fold back into itself in a T shape. Ironic isn’t it? The purpose of tRNA is to bring the amino acids together to form the growing peptide chain. Without going too deep, the growing peptide chain is a link of amino acids which will eventually make up protein. So you could say that tRNA helps bring amino acids together to make protein.
  3. Ribosomal RNA or rRNA. This one is a little less complicated than the others. The purpose of rRNA is to make ribosomes, in fact, most of the ribosome is made out of rRNA. Both rRNA and tRNA are directly involved with protein synthesis. The rRNA combines with special proteins to form ribosomes.
tRNA in action

The Central Dogma

Prokaryotic vs Eukaryotic

As you can see, the eukaryotic cell has a lot of membrane-bound structures whereas prokaryotic doesn’t

Gene Sequencing

How we can change genes using gene-editing

Implications of the technology

Introducing CRISPR-Cas9

In this example, the black line is the guide RNA, the letters are that of the original DNA, and the coloured blocks are the complementary base pair for each letter that the guide RNA is generating.

CRISPR-Cas12a

Alternate Gene Editing Tools

TALEN

ZFN

You can see from this diagram that TALEN and ZFN are fairly similar

So why is CRISPR considered better when they all do the same thing?

  1. Simplicity. With CRISPR, the target specificity relies on ribonucleotide complex formation and not protein/DNA recognition. Guide RNAs can be designed in a simple and cheap way to target nearly any sequence in the genome.
  2. Efficiency. The system is super-efficient. Modifications can be introduced to the DNA by directly injecting the Cas protein and the guide RNA into developing embryos. Usually, it’s a mouse embryo.
  3. Multiple mutations. Something that’s unique about CRISPR is that genetic mutations can be introduced to multiple genes at the same time by injecting them with multiple guide RNAs. AX Assistant Professor Dr. Haoyi Wang and his team reported using the CRISPR system to successfully introduce mutations to five different genes of a mouse, simultaneously.
Here is a comparison of all three gene-editing technologies

Ethical Questions and Current Limitations

Side Effects

Selfish Use

Changing the reality of life is unethical

Important Terms To Remember

  1. Fundamentals of Genomics: Genome, DNA, mRNA, tRNA, rRNA, Base Pairs/Bases, Complementary Base Pairs, Phosphate Molecule, Sugar/ Deoxyribose molecule, Nucleic acids, Nucleotides, Chromosomes, Gene Sequencing, Nucleobases, Transcription, Translation, Central Dogma, Ribosome, Prokaryotic, Eukaryotic
  2. CRISPR Gene-Editing: Cas-9, Cas12a, Cas13, Guide RNA, PAM(Protospacer adjacent motif), Double-Stranded Break, Ribonucleotide
  3. Miscellaneous: Talen, ZFC, Human Genome Project, High-throughput sequencing, The Sanger Method, Polymorphism, Bacteria Multiplication. Peptide Chain, Cell Membrane, TALE, Zinc Finger, Fok1, Multicellular, Unicellular

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15 y/o working on ending open defecation in Nigeria + increasing the energy density of batteries.

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Rishi Mehta

Rishi Mehta

15 y/o working on ending open defecation in Nigeria + increasing the energy density of batteries.

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