What is the difference between gene editing and gene drive?

Category: Gene Drive Mechanisms

Gene (or genome) editing refers to changing an organism’s DNA, while gene drive refers to a pattern of inheritance.

The term ‘gene editing’ is used to describe relatively precise alterations in genomes that are accomplished using any one of a number of tools that function as molecular scissors (technically termed endonucleases – proteins that cut nucleic acids such as DNA and RNA). A popular and powerful version of molecular scissors for gene editing is the CRISPR-Cas system. Gene editing is being used for a variety of purposes, including basic scientific research and developing new treatments for diseases.

Gene editing also can be used to engineer gene drive in the laboratory. One mechanism for this utilizes a component of the CRISPR-Cas gene editing system. There also are other ways by which preferential inheritance patterns that are the hallmark of gene drive can be achieved by researchers.

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