Two years ago, American scientists presented the world with the unique technology CRISPR/Cas9, which allows you to change the genome of living organisms. The essence of the method lies in the effect on the molecular mechanism of protection, which scientists were able to force the DNA fragments of the cell to change their desired way.
Today, the effect of an unexpected discovery is a little dying. However, NASA's experts did not sit idly by working on simplifying the technique. The result of the research was a simplified version of CRISPR/Cas9, which may be available to everyone. Previously, genetic manipulation of bacteria was carried out in ultra-modern laboratories built on the basis of large research institutes, the new invention would allow them to be produced at home.
How the method works
According to one of the authors of the project, microbiologist José Zainer, the CRISPR technology was discovered through the study of the genome of the simplest microorganisms. Scientists have found out that microorganisms that survived infection with the virus, prescribe in their own genome part of the DNA of the aggressor. Due to this mechanism, bacteria are able to recognize viruses familiar to them earlier and, with the next "visit," use special molecular mechanisms to combat them.
Destruction of a repeated meeting of the virus is carried out in this way: the stored site of the DNA of the aggressor joins the inactive neighbor of the genome. After running in the course of the proteins Cas, which, like scissors, cut the DNA of the virus, destroying it. Scientists have learned to use this mechanism to cut arbitrary DNA regions. Moreover, it is equally effective for the change of the genome of the simplest microorganisms, and manipulations of animals, including mammals.
Home kits are on sale
José Zayner believes that CRISPR/Cas9 technology should be made public so that everyone, from home-to-home microbiologists, could experiment and create GMO-bacteria at home. To this end, the scientist has created the online store The ODIN, which sells genomes that allow you to edit genres.
Inexpensive kits for beginners
The most affordable package is for only $ 75. With his help, anyone can add a fluorescent protein to DNA bacteria. The set will be more expensive to develop a number of manipulations over the genetic code of bacteria, through which they will be able to survive in unusual conditions. Its cost is $ 130. For $ 160, genetic engineering enthusiasts will be able to buy a mini-lab equipped to make changes in the genome of yeast to color them in red.
Another inexpensive and functional option is a set of $ 200, which allows you to give the bacteria the ability to destroy plastic, fertilizing the soil products of life. Also, the store offers to make a wholesale purchase. The client can order 20 selected kits and reagents to them for only $ 500, which allows relatively cheap equipment to provide a whole classroom.
To create a real home laboratory that allows you to conduct a full-fledged experiment at home, you will have to spend $ 3,000. This set includes a variety of centrifuges, flasks, pipettes, funnels, a variety of different reagents and a gel for electrophoresis.
The most advanced is a kit for $ 5000 dollars, which allows you to allocate a given sign of bacteria and carry out various manipulations with it. According to Dr. Zayner, with the help of this set you can create absolutely new genetically modified organisms!