broken dna

Hacking DNA: CRISPR – Hope or Horror?

Last week me and my brother went to a special practicum about genetic modification in De Waag at Amsterdam. The evening was called: “CRISPR – Hope or Horror?”.

Under the inspiring guidance of biohacker Pieter van Bohemen and PHD candidate Wieke Betten we learned how to make bacteria resistant (!) to the antibiotic streptomycin via the revolutionary CRISPR/Cas9 system. I was really amazed at how easy it is now -a-days to ‘hack’ an organism and alter it’s DNA (in my group there was a twelve year old participating fully).

CRISPR can be programmed to target specific stretches of genetic code and to edit DNA at precise locations. The technology is revolutionary because this gene editor has high-precision, is inexpensive, and is easy-to-use. The easiness shows in the protocol:
1) grow the bacteria
2) put the bacteria in a test tube
3) add some sort of catalyst
4) add CRISPR with the specific DNA sequence you want to add to the bacteria
5) and finally cool the substance so you can heat-shock it in hot water. [...]


To read the whole post and interact, please visit the SogetiLabs blog: Hacking DNA: CRISPR – Hope or Horror?