The First-Ever Gene Editing Showdown

Meera Singhal
22 min readMay 6, 2021

Have you ever witnessed gene-editing technologies battle it out to the death? Well, I have not either, but I am going to give you a first-hand view of a gene-tech showdown. First, let me start with the rules.

Rules and Guidelines:

This showdown bubbles down to three exciting rounds. This showdown is not like a regular boxing match or anything that you have ever really seen before. For each round, there is a theme, and the contestants (the gene-editing technologies) will fight three people from that theme. These people will represent current issues or ideas where gene-editing technology is required, and the contestants (the gene-editing technologies) will play to their strange and try to beat the people from the themes. The gene-editing technologies will be able to “charge” the punch or kick they throw by providing examples and proof of why they work better than the others. The technology with the strongest punch gets a point. By the end of each round, we tally the points and announce a winner. If it is a tie, we will have a special tie-breaker opponent.

Meera I honestly cannot wait for this gene-editing show-down, but I do not think I know enough about gene editing to actually understand what is going on. Help?

Not to worry at all! When I was first learning about gene-editing technology, I hardly knew what CRISPR stood for. For that purpose, I have created an article for each gene-editing technology that I will be covering in this showdown. Ill be linking the articles for those who want to go deeper, and a short description for those who want to brush up on these topics.

Zinc Finger Nucleases (ZFN)

To understand ZFN’s properly, you should visualize it. So, try to imagine three ovals. These ovals are in a horizonal line, and they represent proteins. These proteins are held together by a zinc ion (hence the name zinc finger) and they usually work together. Each oval (or protein) is targeting one amino acid. Each ink finger partners with a group of 2–3 other proteins that bind to an enzyme called FOK1. The enzyme (more detail later in this article) is like a pair of scissors. If we have two groups of proteins, we can use these enzymes to cut through the middle through heterodimerizing the two cleavage enzymes. To remove an entire sequence, we need to make a cut. Once we finish this process, we c-an bring a zinc finger into the cell through transfection which is deliberately introducing nucleic acids or more commonly known as electroporation (which is using a pulse of electricity to open the cell membrane). Once they bind, we can make these cuts and remove the cuts of DNA. By removing this DNA, that DNA is now a deletion mutation. We could also insert a new mutation into this sequence before we inserted this ZFN back into the gene. We would insert the DNA with homologous pairs which would make it an insertion mutation. Essentially, Zinc Finger Nuclease (ZFN) are the binding of a zinc finger protein (DNA binding domain) to a FOK1 enzyme (DNA cleaving domain) to target a specific DNA sequence. Zinc Fingers bind to an amino acid (three bases) and the FOK1 enzyme heterodimerizes to cleave the DNA.

Zinc fingers are the most common DNA binding domain found in eukaryotes. They typically are comprised of ~ 30 amino acid modules that interact with nucleotide triplets. ZNFs have been designed that recognize all of the 64 possible trinucleotide combinations, and by stringing different zinc finger moieties, one can create ZNFs that specifically recognize any specific sequence of DNA triplets.

Each ZNF typically recognizes 3–6 nucleotide triplets. Because the nucleases to which they are attached only function as dimers, pairs of ZNFs are required to target any specific locus: one that recognizes the sequence upstream and the other that recognizes the sequence downstream of the site to be modified. Interested in diving deeper? Read more about ZFN’s and case studies here!

Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nucleases (TALEN)

TALEN is another form of gene editing where biologist use a DNA-binding domain to cut and edit specific sequences of DNA. TALEN is another type of artificial nuclease that we can use to cut DNA at very specific recognition sites. These specific recognition enzymes are going to recognize a very specific DNA sequence and cut at that sequence. TALEN is made out of TALEP, which is known as transcription activator-like effector proteins or TAILS. These are proteins that are made from certain bacteria known as Xanthomonas from the Onis bacteremia. TALEP is a type of protein that binds to DNA, well to be more specific, it binds to a specific nucleotide. Since the TALEP can bin to specific nucleotide like adenine or guanine, we can do so much more. To help you visualize this a bit better, imagine if each nucleotide had a little TALE on the end of it- a oval attached to it make a huge weight protein that has hundreds of TALEs attached to it. Each type of nucleotide will have a different type of TALE. We then attach half of an endonuclease’s enzyme like Fok1 (a nuclease that we got from bacteria) to create an active enzyme! TALEN has been taking over the genome editing field for the past three years with its complex but simple nature.

Talen is a better option for the engineering of some hard-to-edit genomic regions, which could be applicable to both research and therapies, the scientists argued. Genetic defects in heterochromatin can cause such diseases as sickle cell anemia, beta-thalassemia, and fragile X syndrome. Read more here!

Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)

In my mind, I like to think of CRISPR with an analogy. For example, take a working document. In a document, if I suspected that I misspelled a phrase or word, we can always use the find and replace bar to fix any errors. We can edit, delete add, basically just alter the words we wrote. Similarly, in our DNA, we have the same function. This function is taken on by a system called CRISPR Cas9.

CRISPR is short for;

Clustered

Regularly

Interspaced

Short

Palindromic

Repeats

CRISPR consist of two main components. The Cas9 protein has the ability to cut through DNA and a guide RNA that can recognize the sequence of the DNA that must be edited.

To use CRISPR Cas9, scientists first identify the sequence of the human genome that is causing a health problem. Then they create a specific guide RNA to recognize the specific strands of A, C, G, and T’s in the DNA. The guide RNA is attached to the DNA cutting enzyme Cas9. After that, this complex is introduced to the target cells. It locates the target letter sequences and cuts the DNA. At that point, scientists can then edit the existing genome by modifying, deleting, or adding new sequences (just like a word document!). This process efficiently makes CRISPR Cas9 an efficient cut-and-paste tool for DNA editing. In the future, scientists hope to use CRISPR Cas9 to develop critical advances in patient care or even cure lifelong diseases.

Arguably, the most important advantages of CRISPR/Cas9 over other genome editing technologies is its simplicity and efficiency. Since it can be applied directly in embryo, CRISPR/Cas9 reduces the time required to modify target genes compared to gene targeting technologies based on the use of embryonic stem (ES) cells. Improved bioinformatics tools — to identify the most appropriate sequences to design guide RNAs — and optimization of the experimental conditions enabled very robust procedures which guarantee successful introduction of the desired mutation.

The molecular mechanism exploited to insert DNA fragments is mediated by DNA repair machinery activated by the double strand break introduced by Cas9. Since the scope of the DNA repair system is not to integrate DNA fragments in the genome, targeted alleles often carry additional modifications, such as deletions, partial or multiple integrations of the targeting vector, and even duplications. Read more here!

Comparing Gene Editing Techniques (Pre-Match Fun)

While people start to fill up the stadiums to witness the first-ever genetic editing showdown, the contestants decided to show the audience their strengths to show their good side.

TALEN vs CRISPR

TALEN and CRISPR are often considered the newer versions of gene editing. Even though CRISPR usually takes most of the spotlight, TALEN is quite skilled in other aspects. CRISPR can introduce multiple gene mutations concurrently with a single injection, TALENs are limited to simple mutations. CRISPR transfections also have a higher efficiency, whereas TALEN editing often results in mosaicism, where a mutant allele is present only in some of their cells transfected. TALEN however can have higher editing efficiency than CRISPR. It can cut the DNA and then make changes more efficiently than CRISPR.

TALEN vs ZFN

TALEN and ZFNs are often overlooked in all of CRISPRs glory. Even through CRISPR has the spotlight, TALEN and ZFN sure gave CRISPR a run for its money. ZNFs have been designed that recognize all of the 64 possible trinucleotide combinations, and by stringing different zinc finger moieties, one can create ZNFs that specifically recognize any specific sequence of DNA triplets. However, TALEN has a higher efficiency rate than ZFNs and CRISPR.

ZFN vs CRISPR

Its time for the final pre-match battle, the master versus the student. The student, or CRISPR has been known to take the limelight whenever possible, but does the master have a few tricks up its sleeves? The CRISPR/Cas technology offers a variety of advantages over ZFN, because it relies on a single targeting molecule (guide RNA) for DNA sequence recognition. This fact simplifies the construction of vectors with multiple guide RNAs for multiplexed gene targeting. Zinc fingers are the most common DNA binding domain found in eukaryotes. ZNFs have been designed that recognize all of the 64 possible trinucleotide combinations, and by stringing different zinc finger moieties, one can create ZNFs that specifically recognize any specific sequence of DNA triplets.

Match #1 | Plants, Food, and Other Organisms!

This match will be solely focused on gene editing in non-human organisms, specifically plants and food. As I mentioned previously, there will be 3 different opponents that the three “gene editing musketeers” mush work to attach each opponent. The musketeer with the most powerful punch (their ability to attack the opponent the best) winds the round against their opponents. Each punch mush has a powerful swing, and in this case, that mean the why and how behind why they believe they are the best.

Ok, Meera, you have kept us in plenty of suspense- who are the opponents!?

You are right! The opponents (in this order) are;

- Spray-on Gene Editing

- Gene Editing in Wheat

- Gene Editing in Maize

Let us get this showdown started!!

Spray-on Gene Editing | Opponent #1

First facing this gruesome opponent, we have. drumroll please… TALEN! TALEN steps up and as the first opponent it has a slight disadvantage; he cannot learn from other mistakes. However, TALEN is known for being a legend in the plant and food area. TALEN takes a swing, and he gives a powerful punch. TALEN tries to play to its strengths, which is targeting the specific genes in play. The opponent is knocked to the floor but unfortunately gets up very quickly. Although the specificity was a good idea, it unfortunately wants enough. It was too specific and could only hurt a small portion of the opponent with each punch.

Second in the ring, we have … drumroll please …. ZFN! ZFN steps up, recalling some of its most powerful elements. Since ZFNs have been designed to recognize all of the 64 possible trinucleotide combinations, and by stringing different zinc finger moieties, one can create ZNFs that specifically recognize any specific sequence of DNA triplets. ZFN take a long swing with this and kits! The opponent is knocked off of its balance- a powerful punch indeed. It could be improved however since the ZFN was only able to complete half of the task.

Last, but defiantly not least, we have … drumroll please … CRISPR! TALEN and ZFN had a few good punches, but CRISPR looks like it could obliterate the whole competition with a special trick up its sleeve. The Cas-9 protein goes for specific genes with its infamous techniques. It loads a powerful punch and knocks out the opponent! A clear win for CRISPR!

To go further into how the winning solution truly knocked out its opponent, follow along on this mini reflection. CRISPR Cas9 was able to target the SPO11 gene in order to make this work. The allowed GFP and GRNA (that was introduced shortly after) to create the protocol for spray on genes! Read more here!

Gene Editing in Wheat | Opponent #2

First in this pit of doom, we have … drumroll please … CRISPR! Since CRISPR had a clear advantage of learning from other mistakes, we decided to put it first. Regardless, CRISPR loads its punch, and misses entirely! In this shocking turn of events, CRISPR was not even able to make a hit. It used its classic approach, but this approach does not relate to the problem itself, nor the applications. Unfortunately, CRISPR has been disqualified from this round (still in the match bracket!)

Second, having a newfound feeling of confidence, we have … drumroll please … ZFN! ZFN has the incredible chance to learn from CRISPRs grave mistakes, loads its swing. It punches with its recognition “software”. It lands a punch right on its nose! ZFN does not knock its opponent out, but it does break its nose.

Finally, we have … drumroll please … TALEN! TALEN wastes no time to load up its punch. Taking a great swing, it uses its precision to target specific genes. TALEN used exactly what was needed to attack this issue. It loads up a powerful punch and knock out its opponent! The crowd goes wild! TALEN makes an incredible comeback against wheat- especially after last round.

To dive down deeper into how TALEN knocked out its opponent, follow along for this mini reflection. TALEN is the best gene editing technique for its specificity. Although CRISPR can outshine it in a lot of areas, no gene editing technique to date is more specific than TALEN. In this experiment, TALEN was editing a uidA transgene and a second endogenous gene, lr21Ψ, in bread wheat with great efficiencies. Read more here!

Gene Editing in Maize | Opponent #3

First up in this final battle, we have … drumroll please … CRISPR! CRISPR, determined to do better than it did last time, decided to broaden its scope a little. CRISPR reeled in its punch and used its guide RNA to make a huge blow! Oi! It was a slap in the face to Maize, but Maize was able to quickly recover.

Next up, we have … drumroll please … ZFN! ZFN, having not won any rounds decided to fall back to its old fashion techniques. It used its restriction enzymes to make a great blow! Woah! Maize was knocked the floor and it took it a while for Maize to get back up.

Finally, the wrap up this round, we have … drumroll please … TALEN! This issue is right up TALENs ally, but ZFN played a tough game. TALEN takes a great swing and uses its mutations to attack Maize! BAM! Maize is knocked out cold and TALEN wins this round!

To inspect TALENs win a bit further, follow along for this last mini reflection. TALEN has been used for targeted gene mutagenesis, especially for gene inactivation, in many organisms, including agriculturally important plants, so its no secret that it would be the best option for Maize. TALENs were employed to generate stable, heritable mutations at the maize glossy2 (gl2) locus. Read more about this fascinating process here!

Final Review of Match #1!

Tallying up all the points its clear to me that the winner of match #1 is … drumroll please … TALEN! TALEN pulled through winning the first and last opponent. It was obvious that TALEN would win this this theme, it was practically designed form plants and other organisms! For a full review of why TALEN won, check out my video below!

Match #2 | Diseases

This match will be centered around diseases in humans and the best types of gene editing techniques to conquer them. As I mentioned previously, there will be 3 different opponents that the three “gene editing musketeers” mush work to attach each opponent. The musketeer with the most powerful punch (their ability to attack the opponent the best) winds the round against their opponents. Each punch mush has a powerful swing, and in this case, that mean the why and how behind why they believe they are the best.

The opponents, in this order, are;

- Gene Editing in HIV

- Gene Editing in Sickle Cell Disease

- Gene Editing in Muscular Dystrophies

Gene Editing in HIV | Opponent #1

First up, in this exhilarating round of diseases, we have … drumroll please … CRISPR! CRISPR uses its Cas9 protein to seamlessly cut through the DNA a strong punch that effectively disables the HIV virus. BAM! HIV is knocked to the ground, and slowly regains its strength for the next gene editing technology.

Next up, we have … drum roll please … ZFN; forced to follow a tough act preformed by CRISPR! ZFN, known for its DSBs, decides to use that against this horrible foe. It takes a big swing and breaks its nose! Not nearly as great of an impact as CRISPR, but still manages to knock HIV off of its balance.

With two tough acts to follow, we have … drumroll please … TALEN! Known for its specificity, the audience hopes for it to use a similar technique to CRISPR but targeting the specific genes in HIG, potentially knocking HIV out. Beautifully executed, TALEN takes a great swing and knocks out HIV! BAM! TALEN uses its site-specific powers to obliviate to competition. TALEN wins this round!

To dive down a bit deeper into TALENs heroic win, follow along for this mini reflection and the sciences behind it. TALENs have less off-target editing and can be more effective at tolerating HIV escape mutations than CRISPR/Cas-9. Scientists have explored TALEN-mediated editing of host genes such as viral entry receptors (CCR5 and CXCR4) and a protein involved in parvoviral integration (LEDGF/p75). Viral targets include the parvoviral DNA, particularly focused on the long terminal repeats. Read more about this awesome process here!

Gene Editing in Sickle Cell Disease | Opponent #2

First up in this gruesome battle, we have … drumroll please … ZFN! This is not anywhere close to ZFNs area of interest. Nevertheless, ZFN put in a great effort to use DSBs to attack the Sickle Cell Disease. It takes a great swing! It hits and has a minimal effect on this opponent.

Second in this match against the sickle cell disease, we have … drumroll please … TALEN! TALEN uses it specificity to its power once again and take a great swing. It punches and makes a deep bruise on the sickle cell disease. TALEN went too specific once again- causing only a portion of the sickle cell disease to be hit.

Hard to top TALENs performance, we have, last in the ring … drumroll please … CRISPR! CRISPR jumps right into the ring and take a huge swing. It punches with a seamless cut in the genes hoping to knock at least 80% of the disease. BAM! CRISPR has a home run- the sickle cell disease is knocked to the floor, and barely conscious. CRISPR wins this round!

To dive a bit deeper into CRISPRs crazy win, follow along for this mini reflection and scientific explanation. The biologists preformed a special procedure with electroporation of CD34+ hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells obtained from healthy donors, with CRISPR-Cas9 targeting the BCL11A erythroid-specific enhancer. Approximately 80% of the alleles at this locus were modified, with no evidence of off target editing. Read more about this here!

Gene Editing in Muscular Dystrophies | Opponent #2

First up in the last round of the second match, we have … drumroll please … TALEN! TALEN get ready to attack, although this area is not in TALENs “area of interest” TALEN still believes that it can attack muscular dystrophies; so, with a great big swing it uses specificity, but it was too specific once again. For the area that it did attack (the gut) it was able to make a big impact, but no where else.

Second in the gruesome match, we have … drumroll please … ZFN! ZFNs, known for their double stranded breaks, decides to use it against muscular dystrophies. With a running punch, ZFN s able to knock this opponent to the floor!

With a tough act to follow, we have next … drumroll please … CRISPR! With this issue right up its ally, CRISPR takes a relaxed punch, combining the perfect mix of being broad and specific. It knocks its opponents out cold! CRISPR wins this final round!

To further inspect CRISPRs incredible win, follow along on this mini reflection + scientific explanation. Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which is caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene, has been successfully corrected in mice, dogs, and human cells through CRISPR/Cas9 editing. This is the disease behind it- and in animals it has only ever been successful with CRISPR/Cas9. Read more about it here!

Final Review of Match #2!

Tallying up all of the points, its clear to say that the winner of match #2 is … drumroll please … CRISPR! Winning 2/3 matches, CRISPR used its classic techniques to fight off diseases. CRISPR is actually known for fighting diseases, so it is no surprise when it was CRISPR who came out victorious. For a full review of CRISPR victory, check out my video below!

Match #3 | Surprise me!

Gene Editing stretches far and wide, and a mere 3 topics could not cover it. In this surprise me section, there will be different gene editing representatives, all coming in a surprising manner. As I mentioned previously, there will be 3 different opponents that the three “gene editing musketeers” mush work to attach each opponent. The musketeer with the most powerful punch (their ability to attack the opponent the best) winds the round against their opponents. Each punch mush has a powerful swing, and in this case, that mean the why and how behind why they believe they are the best.

Designer Babies | Opponent #1

Designer babies deserver somewhat of a special introduction. This opponent (designer babies) is nothing like the opponents these gene editing technologies have faced before. The previous opponents where all problems scientists were trying to solve, while this is a “luxury” that scientists are trying to provide. Nevertheless, lets see how our courageous gene editing technologies are going to face this fearsome opponent.

First up into this ring of doom, we have … drumroll please … TALEN! As a site-specific gene editing technology, TALEN really is designed to make designer babies (a little bit of biology humor for you), but it gives it its best swing and hits its opponent by manufacturing site specific enzymes to apprehend and modify the appropriate genes. BANG! TALEN hits it right in the face and sends designer babies spinning.

Having a hard act to follow, we have next in the pit … drumroll please … ZFN! With the ability of binding, ZFN walks into the ring feeling confident. It takes a great swing and… BAM! ZFN his designer babies in the stomach making a loud punching sound.

With two hard acts to follow, we finally have … drumroll please … CRISPR! CRISPR was practically designed to create designer babies (more biology humor for you) so it takes a big swing and punches with all of its might. It uses its specificity to edit and alter the DNA of the unborn child. BANG! Knocked out cold, CRISPR wins the round!

To dive down deeper into CRISPRs incredible win, follow along for this mini reflection + scientific backings. As I mentioned previously, CRISPR was practically designed for making designer babies. CRISPR Cas9 was able to edit the DNA at the zygote stage, which essentially changes the growth pattens enabling designer babies to be born. Interested? Read more about it here!

Cancer Therapy | Opponent #2

Cancer therapy also deserves somewhat of a special introduction. I know cancer is pretty similar to diseases so you may be wondering why I mut it in the surprise me section instead of diseases. I mainly did it for the reason that its more on the therapy side as well as the type of cancer (ill dive down deeper) which is very specific. Without further ado, lets bring in the contestants!

First up in this ring of fire, we have … drumroll please … TALEN! TALEN, being one of the most site-specific gene editing technologies, takes a swing and uses its specificity to attack this sort of cancer. It is a hit and miss! TALEN was not designed for this sort of cancer therapy so its gene editing techniques obviously would not work.

Next up in this fiery match, we have … drumroll please … ZFN! ZFN is similar to TALEN- it was not designed for this. Scrapping up the best of its strength however, ZFN takes a huge swing backwards and feebly hits the nose. It was not a huge hit or miss because ZFN used DSB- which can affect this, just not too much. Technically in first place, ZFN pumps its firsts in victory!

Finally, following two easy acts, we have in this ring of fire … drumroll please … CRISPR! Designed for this challenge, CRISPR knows it can easily dominate it. It takes a swing and uses its delivering methods to knock cancer therapy to the ground! CRISPR wins this round!

COVID 19 | Opponent #3

For our final match of this gene editing showdown, I thought I could bring an issue that effects every single person that is reading this. Yup. I am talking about using gene editing for COVID. No, I am not talking about editing ever single persons genes, just using these methods to deliver the vaccine per say. Let us see how our contestants use their brains and brawns to face this challenging opponent.

First up in the last round of the last match of this showdown, we have … drumroll please … TALEN! TALEN cannot play to its strengths of specificity so it must resort to its general use. It takes a swing and is able to hit COVID-19 in the face! (Something that we have all been wanting to do but cannot). It delivers the vaccine seamlessly, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Second to face this dreaded opponent we have … drumroll please … ZFN! ZFN, one who does not have much strength in either of these areas, uses DSBs to take a big punch. OUCH! It is a hit and miss! ZFN was not able to deliver the vaccine with DSBs unfortunately so its been disqualified.

Finally, we have in the last round, of the last match … drumroll please … CRISPR! CRISPR wastes no time with taking its swing. It takes a major swing and knocks COVID to the floor! The crowd goes wild! CRISPR just won the final round!

To dive down deeper into this final win preformed by CRISPR, follow along on this mini reflection and scientific depth. CRISPR used ASO therapy that is targeting transcript encoding a viral protein or genomic RNA itself could be developed as a response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Antisense peptide nucleic acids, which have significant potential as antiviral agents, are important therapeutic candidates that can target SARS-CoV-2 RNA with high hybridization affinity and stability. Read more here!

I cannot believe that we are at the end of the first ever gene editing showdown! If you have been keeping tally of the winners of each rounds and matches, you must know who the winner is already, but if you do not, I request one more … drumroll please … because the winner of 2021 first ever gene editing showdown is … CRISPR! With amazing punches, delivery, diagnostic, and editing methods, CRISPR takes the cup!

However, the other technologies made some brutally amazing punches, so that makes me wonder, why is not there a technology that has all of these strengths. Well, it turns out there is. Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce, the gene editing technology that has it all, retrons.

As you know from watching this showdown, CRISPR Cas9 has some pretty cool applications but also major drawbacks. CRISPR-Cas9 can be programmed to find and cut specific pieces of DNA. Dditing the DNA however, to create desired mutations requires us to trick the cell into using a new piece of DNA to repair the break. This process is so complicated, and it is even proven to be harmful to surround cells. Other gene editing techniques like ZFN and TALEN use recombineering instead perform this bait-and-switch by introducing an alternate piece of DNA while a cell is replicating its genome, efficiently creating genetic mutations without breaking DNA. This however is a very time-consuming task.

Researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and Harvard Medical School (HMS) have created a new gene editing tool called Retrons Library Recombineering (RLR) that makes this task easier. RLR is an incredible gene-editing technology. It can generate millions of mutations simultaneously (YES MILLIONS) and can screen all of these at the same time.

“RLR enabled us to do something that’s impossible to do with CRISPR: we randomly chopped up a bacterial genome, turned those genetic fragments into single-stranded DNA in situ, and used them to screen millions of sequences simultaneously,RLR is a simpler, more flexible gene editing tool that can be used for highly multiplexed experiments, which eliminates the toxicity often observed with CRISPR and improves researchers’ ability to explore mutations at the genome level.”- Max Schubert.

Ok this is amazing. Like I thought the gene-editing showdown was cool, but this is a whole new level. I just have one question; what the heck are these??

In essence, retrons are a portion of bacterial DNA that undergo reverse transcription to produce fragments of single-stranded DNA. Retrons’ existence has actually been known for decades (DECADES?! It is crazy I know), but the function of the ssDNA they produce confused scientists from the 1980s until June 2020, when a team of incredible scientists finally figured out that returns ssDNA detects whether a virus has infected the cell, forming part of the bacterial immune system. To learn more about returns, read here!

Hello! My name is Meera Singhal, and I am a 13-year-old currently fascinated by the field of biotechnology, specifically stem cells and gene editing. I have written articles about biotechnology, mindset tips, and a whole variety of up-and-coming topics. Interested? Check out my medium, LinkedIn, YouTube, or TKS Life Portfolio for more content! Curious to see more about me? Consider subscribing to my Newsletter! Thank you so much!

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Meera Singhal

Biotech Enthusiast at TKS | Stem Cells | Gene Editing