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Scientists use quantum biology, AI to sharpen genome editing tool

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory used their expertise in quantum biology, artificial intelligence and bioengineering to improve how CRISPR Cas9 genome editing tools work on organisms like microbes that can be modified to produce renewable fuels and chemicals. CRISPR is a powerful tool for bioengineering, used to modify genetic code to improve an organism’s performance or to correct mutations. The CRISPR Cas9 tool relies on a single, unique guide RNA that directs the Cas9 enzyme to bind with and cleave the corresponding targeted site in the genome. Existing models to computationally predict effective guide RNAs for CRISPR tools were built on data from only a few model species, with weak, inconsistent efficiency when applied to microbes.

For more information, please visit energy.gov/science. JOURNAL Nucleic Acids Research DOI 10.1093/nar/gkad736

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