We all are fascinated by beautiful things in life. Flowers, bees, brooks, mountains, clouds and many more things. Each one in different color, shape and appearance. We are fascinated by those differences. Like all their fantasies, humans are different too. Mathematically, each human can have six similar people in appearance. That’s because the probability of occurrence of similar genetic traits is 7 of the whole population of humans on earth collectively.
But not everyone is gifted with even their own physical abilities. One out of every 650 children in the world on an average is born with a missing set of chromosomes causing genetic disorders like downs syndrome.
When two humans fall in the act of making a third one, the cliché starts.
A room with scented candles rose petals all over the bed. Estrogen and testosterone unleashing their might. Emotions drifting. Face reddening like no cherry has ever been able to. And a set of 23 chromosomes each from mister and mistress buckling themselves up to give rise to the most beautiful thing in the world. A new life.
Both the sperm and the female egg consist of chromosomes. 23 from each counterpart are fused together to form a set of 46 chromosomes in total to give rise to a set of DNA strands.The problem arises when these all 46 are unable to attach to each other in 23 pairs. This situation is called as Downs syndrome.
The babies suffering from downs syndrome are 15-20 folds vulnerable to any kind of external pathogenic attack. The genetic imbalance can also cause them physical damage in for of a possible deformity or maybe even worse.
To avoid these kind of situations, the scholars of genetics have come up with a revolutionary method. A weapon against evil.
What is Genome Editing?
This is basically a technique used to insert, delete, modify or replace the DNA of a living organism.It is as complicated as interesting as it sounds.
How is it done?
It’s similar to grafting technique used in plants. Basically, the corrections are made by adding the chromosome strands to the targeted affected area. This method is called double-stranded break repair mechanics.
As we see in movies, DNA structure is a double helical strand structure with different threads attached to form a net-like structure. There are 5 basic methods to do so. But I would just underline the basic concept to make you understand clearly.
Some enzymes are released at the target, which break the hydrogen bond between the strands. These enzymes can be called as gene level scissors. This breakage causes a hollow space where the gene to be modified is placed. Now few other enzymes are released which attach the new strands to the existing ones, thus making the double strand pair complete.
As the baby now grows with this new gene, the possibility of him getting a genetic disorder is reduced by folds.
This technology can be used for:
Extinct species recreation
Gene mapping etc.
This genetic engineering masterpiece has brought a revolution and can be a boon to mankind.