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How does gene editing function in genome modification and gene therapy?

Gene editing involves modifying DNA sequences to alter the expression of a gene.

Gene editing is a powerful tool for genome modification and gene therapy. It allows scientists to precisely target and modify specific genes, which can have a range of applications. For example, gene editing can be used to correct genetic mutations that cause diseases, such as sickle cell anaemia or cystic fibrosis. By editing the DNA sequence, scientists can correct the mutation and restore normal gene function.

Another application of gene editing is in the development of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Gene editing can be used to introduce new traits into plants or animals, such as disease resistance or increased yield. This has the potential to revolutionise agriculture and improve food security.

There are several different techniques for gene editing, but one of the most widely used is CRISPR-Cas9. This system uses a guide RNA to target a specific DNA sequence, and then uses an enzyme called Cas9 to cut the DNA at that location. The cell's natural repair mechanisms can then be used to introduce the desired changes to the DNA sequence.

However, gene editing is not without its controversies. There are concerns about the ethics of editing the human germline (i.e. modifying genes that can be passed on to future generations), as well as the potential unintended consequences of gene editing. As such, it is important that gene editing is used responsibly and with appropriate oversight.

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