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The scientific community nominates CRISPR System, based on research developed at the University of Alicante, as a candidate to the Nobel Prize in Science

Science journal has chosen CRISPR System as 2015's most remarkable Scientific Breakthrough due to its countless applications in biomedicine and biotechnology

This bacterial cells' immune system was discovered by Francisco Mojica and allows to modify DNA from any organism, which has countless applications in biotechnology and biomedicine.

 

FM_Mojica2

Alicante, 18 January 2016

Science journal has published an article where CRISPR System (discovered by University of Alicante microbiologist Juan Francisco Martínez Mojica) has been appointed 2015's most remarkable Scientific Breakthrough. According to this prestigious publication, the international scientific community will be nominating this finding and its numerous applications to the Nobel Prize.

This simple and inexpensive, yet powerful technique for genetic editing has been thoroughly and enthusiastically debated upon by the scientific community due to its multiple applications in many fields of biotechnology and biomedicine, including genetics, immunology and brain science. As stated in the article, even if said applications are still being discussed "it is important to offer a positive public image of CRISPR and the techniques associated with it, since they may completely revolutionise the way we treat illnesses".

The name CRISPR was coined in 2005 by Francisco Mojica, after he identified fragments of several viruses in DNA from bacteria. Based on a combination of proteins and RNA, this rudimentary immune system is a natural, genetic mechanism that fights against invading viruses by "shedding them in pieces". Said pieces, known as sequences, are integrated into bacteria's genome, so that they can remember prior infections and use this genetic tool to resist them in the future. 

Scientists throughout the world have supported this basic discovery made by Mojica, without which the development of CRISPR's applications would have been impossible.

 

Related links:

University of Alicante: http://m.web.ua.es/en/actualidad-universitaria/2016/enero16/7-17/scientists-throughout-the-world-praise-ua-researcher-francisco-mojica-for-the-discovery-of-crispr-system.html

The Wall Street Journal: http://www.wsj.com/articles/crispr-breaks-out-of-the-lab-1452181544

The New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/11/16/the-gene-hackers

CNB-CSIC: http://wwwuser.cnb.csic.es/~montoliu/CRISPR/

The Heroes of CRISPR” by Eric Steven Lander, researcher & director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

 “CRISPR tools: an unexpected gift from bacteria that changed animal biotechnology forever”, by Lluís Montoliu (CSIC).

Broad Institute: https://www.broadinstitute.org/what-broad/areas-focus/project-spotlight/crispr-timeline

Sabemos Digital journal: http://sabemosdigital.com/pop/5265-crispr-para-principiantes

Público.es newspaper: http://www.publico.es/ciencias/avance-cientifico-mas-importante-del.html#.VpqfGzbo064

 

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