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Chinese Scientists Have Developed a New Gene-Editing Tool That Doesn’t Use CRISPR

11 Sep 2023 7:34 AM | Anonymous

A team of scientists in Beijing say they have developed a new gene-editing tool that is more efficient than CRISPR technology, as the threat of US export restrictions looms over China’s biotech sector.

The researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology reported their modular gene-editing system – called CyDENT – in the journal Nature Biotechnology on August 28.

It works a little differently to CRISPR/Cas9, which is patented in the United States. That gene-editing tool splits double-strand DNA in order to make edits to the base pairs that make up the strands, according to CRISPR Therapeutics. The DNA is cut and then repaired by a natural cell process, meaning it could lead to imprecise editing and even undesirable mutations.

But CyDENT can be used to perform strand-specific gene editing without any cuts, according to the paper.

Kevin Zhao, one of the study’s authors and co-founder of Suzhou-based Qi Biodesign, said CyDENT used modules to perform different parts of the editing process. The design allows researchers to “find the best bespoke application” for the variations that emerge.

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