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Added 28 April, 2018

In-Home CRISPR kits will take genetic testing to the next level

CRISPR is well known for its gene-editing capabilities, but at its core, it’s really “biology’s search engine.” It’s able to make precise genetic edits because it’s really good at finding the exact spot in a gene that it needs to slice. Now, CRISPR is moving out of the lab and into your home.
Mammoth Biosciences, a new biotech company co-founded by CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna, is developing an at-home CRISPR diagnostics kit that could replace “Dr. Google” as the average person’s go-to source for health diagnostics. Mammoth’s at-home kit directs CRISPR to search for very specific sequences linked to particular diseases or traits. Here’s how the platform will work. The user first places a sample on the kit’s credit-card-sized piece of paper. This sample could be urine, blood, or saliva (which one will likely depend on what is needed for the particular test). Then, a CRISPR protein and its RNA guide search that sample for specific sequences of DNA or RNA. These sequences could be indicative for diseases such as malaria and Zika; a single test could look for multiple diseases.

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