CRISPR 101: A New Series on Genome Editing & CRISPR-Cas

By Marcy Patrick

A schematic of CRISPR/Cas9. To target a gene of interest for gene editing or gene disruption, a target sequence must be flanked by a protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) sequence. The PAM sequence helps direct Cas9 and a guide RNA to the DNA sequence that’s to be cut. At its target site, Cas9 creates a double-strand DNA break, which is repaired by either non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) or homology directed repair (HDR).I am sure by now you have heard of CRISPRs. (If not, you can get up to speed here and here and here.) With such a fast moving technology, it is sometimes hard to keep pace with the new advances let alone remember the (maybe) long forgotten details of the biological process required to effectively design and utilize these tools. We certainly understand and are here to help!

Starting next week, we'll release the first post in our newest blog series - CRISPR 101 - a companion series to our popular Plasmids 101 articles. These posts are created to educate all levels of scientists and provide a resource for some of the basic principles driving CRISPRs and genome editing technology.

Download Addgene's CRISPR 101 eBook!

Your guide to the CRISPR basics

In our first few posts we will re-introduce some basic fundamental biological processes required for genome editing. Come back next Thursday (March 12th) to read our first post covering double strand DNA break repair via homologous recombination. Future posts will include non-homologous end joining, using CRISPR for gene activation, creating deletions using CRISPR-Cas tools, validation, and more.

As we add to this CRISPR-related resource, please let us know if you have questions or would like specific topics covered. If you're a scientist with experience using CRISPR tools and would like to guest blog for the CRISPR 101 series, email us at Additionally, though this series is intended to be a useful resource for all things CRISPR, we must stress that this blog is not meant to be a substitute for reading the publications that detail the research and development of these techniques!


Can't wait until next week? Satisfy your CRISPR craving by reading these informative blogs and articles:

Plan Your Next CRISPR Experiment, Click to Start Now at Addgene

Topics: CRISPR, CRISPR 101

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