Key points from article :
The CRISPR gene-editing system is built on a bacterial defense mechanism that allows scientists to make precise edits to DNA.
Scientists discovered a new class of enzymes that perform a similar function and perhaps better in some respects.
Named the system Obligate Mobile Element Guided Activity (OMEGA).
Found RNAs which guided the IscB proteins to cut DNA in certain places; named these “ωRNAs” (Omega RNAs).
Identified two other types of proteins that make use of ωRNAs – IsrBs and TnpBs.
These proteins move around in the genome and create a new guide RNA, which lets the enzymes cut different sections of DNA.
Engineered the OMEGA system to work in human cells...could form a brand new gene-editing system.
These proteins seem to be the predecessors of some CRISPR ones, such as Cas9 and Cas12.
“Natural versions of these systems might be a good starting point to adapt for that particular task.” - Han Altae-Tran, co-first author.
Research by at MIT published in the journal Science.