Last updated Apr 17, 2020.
Before being adapted by scientists to edit the genome of virtually any organisms on this planet, CRISPR-Cas systems were merely adaptive immune systems that provide bacteria protection against infectious agents. Several enzymes behind this immunity have already been discovered and studied but it is only the tip of the iceberg as it has been predicted that many others are still unknown.
Identifying Cas14 variants
In this quest to discover new and maybe more efficient Cas systems, Jennifer Doudna’s lab analyzed metagenomic datasets to try to determine whether simpler and maybe smaller Cas systems could exist in nature.