What makes CRISPR-Cas9 such a groundbreaking genome editing tool? Hear from CRISPR-Cas9 pioneer Feng Zhang, Ph.D., who shares not only what makes the tool so unique and how it works but also his personal journey into science, which began with the film Jurassic Park. Zhang, who engineered the CRISPR-Cas9 system to work in human cells, is now using the tool to understand and treat human diseases, such as neurological disorders. In this short film, he compares CRISPR-Cas9 to past available genome-editing tools, including zinc finger and transcription activator-like effector (TALE) nucleases. Zhang’s descriptions are accessible, and the animations are vibrant, informative, and dynamic!
The learning objectives in this film include:
- Learn about Feng Zhang’s unique personal journey into science and the key role he played in engineering the microbial CRISPR-Cas9 system to work in human cells.
- Gain insight into why genome editing is a useful tool in treating human diseases.
- Learn about zinc finger (ZF) and transcription activator-like effector (TALE) nucleases, two protein-based genome editing tools which existed prior to the development of CRISPR-Cas9, and how they work in editing genomes.
- Understand why the RNA-based CRISPR-Cas9 system is considered a faster, more efficient genome editing tool as compared to the protein-based ZF and TALE nucleases.
- Appreciate the importance of tool development in science (in conjunction with knowledge generation).
Feng Zhang, Ph.D., is a core institute member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, as well as an investigator at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, the James and Patricia Poitras Professor of Neuroscience at MIT, and a professor at MIT. Zhang is also an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical… Continue Reading