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CRISPR

acronym; noun
Palindromic repeated nucleotides found in bacterial genes. It was found that these repeats were to mark the presence of viral DNA in bacterial DNA. Part of the bacterial immune system. In the case of a viral invader, assuming the bacterium survives, the bacterium will save pieces of the viral invader’s genetic material in its own. In the case of a second invasion later, the bacterium will recognize the invader by its genetic material. The CRISPR/Cas9, upon recognition of the virus, will then cut up the virus’ genetic material, halting the viral attack more quickly. Helps bacterium become resistant to virus in case of future attacks. Also used to reference current gene-editing in general. Pronounced “crisper” Source Used: Vidyasagar, Aparna. “What Is CRISPR?” Live Science, April 21, 2018. https://www.livescience.com/58790-crispr-explained.html.
 
Used primarily as biologist jargon and in academic settings; however, it is entering the common vocabulary. The new word “CRISPR” was created in response to the new discovery. Used by metonymy to refer to genomic editing. CRISPR/Cas9 is the system that locates specific sequences determined by a viral guide RNA and cuts it to kill a viral invader in a bacterium. Scientists applied this technique to create a highly targeted means of cutting genetic material, which allows for more successful and cost-efficient gene-editing. Because this is facilitated by the CRISPR/Cas9 system, the entire gene-editing process is sometimes referred to as CRISPR, via metonymy.
Etymology : An acronym of “Clusters of Regularly Interspersed Short Palindromic Repeats”, possibly a backronym, because the acronym forms a word. Source Used: Vidyasagar, Aparna. “What Is CRISPR?” Live Science, April 21, 2018. https://www.livescience.com/58790-crispr-explained.html.
Source : “Come see what we worried about before CRISPR...” 10/16/2019 Context: Talking about science fiction movies, specifically Jurassic Park.
Last modified: 21 December 2019


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