Introducing the world’s first gene-edited lizard, an albino

  1. Four brown anole lizards (a type of tropical lizard) have been genetically modified using the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing tool. This is the world’s first successful attempt at producing a genetically modified reptile.
  2. The researchers from University of Georgia, USA had used CRISPR-Cas9 to fertilize the immature eggs of anole lizards and produce four pink albino offspring.
  3. Scientists are of the opinion that the successful research would help the study of human medicine, particularly the eye.
  4. Genome/Gene editing is the deliberate alteration of a selected DNA sequence in a living cell. It involves editing an organism’s DNA by altering, removing or adding nucleotides to the genome.
  5. CRISPR-Cas9 (‘Clustered Regularly Inter-Spaced Palindromic Repeats’) is a tool used for gene editing. The technique involves a DNA cutting enzyme and a small tag which tells the enzyme where to cut. Cas9 stands for CRISPR-associated protein 9, and is the nuclease part that cuts the DNA.