Introduction to CRISPR-Cas9 Genome Editing

CRISPR-Cas9 is the first technology of its kind to allow versatile, efficient and reliable genome editing.

CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing derives from an immune system that evolved in bacteria to cut and destroy invading viral DNA sequences. Researchers led by Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley and Emmanuelle Charpentier, then at Umeå University in Sweden, showed in their 2012 publication that it can be programmed to act as genomic scissors to cut DNA at a specified sequence in any living cell.

The CRISPR-Cas9 method pioneered by Doudna and Charpentier is the first technology of its kind that allows relatively easy and reliable genome editing. The method pinpoints a precise location in the genome using an RNA guide, then cuts the DNA at that location using the Cas9 protein. Cellular repair processes then disrupt, delete or correct the DNA sequence at the cut.

Technology Timeline

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History of CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Editing

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