Researchers have discovered how Cpf1, a new molecular scissors unzip and cleave DNA. This member of the CRISPR-Cas family displays a high accuracy, capable of acting like a GPS in order to identify its destination within the intricate map of the genome.
How DNA is 'packaged' in cells influences the activity of our genes and our risk for disease. Elucidating this process will help researchers in all areas of health care, from cancer and heart disease, to muscular dystrophy and osteoarthritis.
Using a novel molecular dynamics method capable of capturing the motion of gyrating proteins at time intervals up to one thousand times greater than previous efforts, researchers have identified, for the first time, the myriad structural changes that activate and drive CRISPR-Cas9, the innovative gene-splicing technology that's transforming the field of genetic engineering.