Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 31021200
Link to DOI – 10.1089/crispr.2018.0012
CRISPR J 2018 Apr; 1(2): 141-158
The famed physicist-turned-biologist, Max Delbrück, once remarked that, for physicists, “the field of bacterial viruses is a fine playground for serious children who ask ambitious questions.” Early discoveries in that playground helped establish molecular genetics, and half a century later, biologists delving into the same field have ushered in the era of precision genome engineering. The focus has of course shifted-from bacterial viruses and their mechanisms of infection to the bacterial hosts and their mechanisms of immunity-but it is the very same evolutionary arms race that continues to awe and inspire researchers worldwide. In this review, we explore the remarkable diversity of CRISPR-Cas adaptive immune systems, describe the molecular components that mediate nucleic acid targeting, and outline the use of these RNA-guided machines for biotechnology applications. CRISPR-Cas research has yielded far more than just Cas9-based genome-editing tools, and the wide-reaching, innovative impacts of this fascinating biological playground are sure to be felt for years to come.