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October 2, 2019

CRISPR/Cas9 genetic sequence with a 'hairpin' lock

An artist’s representation of the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic sequence with a "hairpin" lock added to the left side of the system, a new approach created by biomedical engineers at Duke University that will improve the accuracy of the CRISPR genome editing technology by an average of 50-fold. The approach adds a short tail to the guide RNA, which is used to identify a sequence of DNA for editing. This added tail folds back and binds onto itself, creating a "lock" that can only be undone by the targeted DNA sequence.

[Research supported in part by National Science Foundation grants DMR 17-09527 and EFMA 18-30957.]

Learn more about this research in the Duke news story Engineering 'hairpins' increases CRISPR accuracy. (Date image taken: April 10, 2019; date originally posted to NSF Multimedia Gallery: Oct. 2, 2019)

Credit: Ella Maru

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