Innovation can occur various ways. Consider the rapidly evolving area of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)
Zika, meet CRISPR.
…researchers have incorporated the gene-editing system CRISPR into a diagnostic test — one that can differentiate between two strains of the Zika virus.
CRISPR has been hailed for its potential to fix mutations that cause disease. It has hastened the pace of discovery in research labs around the world. And it is often described as a find-and-replace or find-and-delete technique because scientists can harness it to cut DNA and insert or eliminate genetic “letters” of their choosing.
With its bloodhound-like ability to speedily sniff out exact genetic sequences, CRISPR could one day be deployed to identify which bacteria or viral strain is afflicting an individual or circulating in a community, leading to targeted treatments and a quicker understanding of bewildering infectious diseases
While CRISPR may have originally been created with the goal of editing genes, its diagnostic prospects seem attractive as well.