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A Perfect Match: A Closer Look at CRISPR Technology & The Clinical Lab

Over the last 40 years, researchers have discovered new ways to leverage the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for various purposes, including as a molecular diagnostic testing technique for diseases ranging from cancer to COVID-19. PCR is a sensitive technique that makes billions of copies of a specific DNA fragment or gene, which allows for their detection and characterization. Now, a new technology might cause us to reassess how we approach molecular diagnostics. That technology is CRISPR-Cas9 (CRISPR). 

Written by test author

A simple yet powerful tool for editing genomes, CRISPR allows researchers to easily alter DNA sequences and modify gene function. Its many potential applications include correcting genetic defects, treating and preventing the spread of diseases, and modifying crops to make them healthier and less vulnerable to climate change. In fact, CRISPR is opening the door to find new ways to revolutionize medicine—from the way we fight genetic illness to the way we treat cancer1. Researchers, academics, and organizations have begun to advance this technology even further— pushing the limits of what is possible in genomics.

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