Genetic Engineering with CRISPR-Cas9 Virus-like Particles
I’m not sure if anyone will ever happen to be on this site looking for resources regarding science fairs, and I definitely don’t do as much wet-lab biology as I used to, but as an homage to a past high school
obsession passion I thought it’d be nice to try to remember some past work.
For some introduction, CRISPR-Cas9 is an exciting gene editing technology with many hyped applications in science and medicine. What it allows scientists and researchers to do is essentially target specific genes and cut them out, ideally introducing a base pair mutation that shuts off the gene’s specific function, and over the years various modifications have been developed to both extend and improve its functionality. While it’s unclear if a definitive application involves being able to deliver the system directly to individual cells, I was interested in tackling such a problem. This lead to the invention of CRISPR-Cas9-carrying virus-like particles (VLPs), which we can think of a viruses missing certain unwanted parts (copy machinery, vector DNA) almost like a vaccine but modified to carry cargo. My research project basically involved designing and testing various constructs, eventually building up a modular system for various gene-editing tasks.