CRISPR, phages, and phage therapy
CRISPR technology is a way for scientists to edit DNA sequences in cells. It's based on a defence mechanism bacteria naturally use to protect themselves. CRISPR technology uses a molecule called Cas9, which works like a pair of scissors to cut DNA at a specific spot.
After the cut, the DNA can be fixed, or a new piece can be added. Scientists can use this tool to create genetically modified organisms, find new ways to treat genetic diseases, and learn more about how genes work.
Phages are tiny viruses that can kill specific bacteria. They're everywhere on Earth and help regulate bacterial populations and nutrient cycling. They infect and kill bacteria, and when the bacteria die, they release nutrients into the environment.
Scientists use phages to treat bacterial infections, which is called phage therapy. They identify and isolate phages that can kill a specific bacterial strain and use them to fight infections caused by that strain.
Phage therapy has some advantages to antibiotics, like targeting specific bacteria without side effects and potentially reducing antibiotic resistance.