Embryonic stem cell and transgenic animals: CRISPR-Cas systems can be used to rapidly and efficiently engineer one or multiple genetic changes to murine embryonic stem cells for the generation of genetically modified mice.
Disease modelling: Disease animal models have been essential resources in advancing the biomedicine field. With the help of genome editing technologies, many applicable models with specific mutations which could mimic clinical phenotypes have been generated.
Cancer models: With the help of genome editing tools, numerous studies have been carried out through modifying key genes for generating accurate and specific cancer models. Cancer models are the most effective ways to study mutational functions which result in cancer.
Genome editing technologies are not only used for generating disease animal models but also destined to enter the therapeutic area. There are plentiful means for genome editing based therapy:
inactivation or correction of harmful mutations
introduction of protective mutations
insertion of therapeutic exogenous genes
destruction of viral DNA
Productivity improvement: Continuous decrease in the availability of land and water for agriculture, uncertain weather conditions and a growing population are signals for the urgent need for an alternative approach in the country. In this scenario, scientists are optimistic about the possibilities of genome editing for enhancing crop productivity to overcome the shortcomings of traditional transgenic methods like irregular breeding cycles, lack of precision in intended trait selection and uncertainty in getting desirable mutations.
Allergy-free food: Food allergies affect a huge percentage of the population and can be life-threatening in some cases. With CRISPR, it could be possible to make milk, eggs or peanuts that are safe for everyone to eat.
Greener fuels: Gene editing could improve the production of biofuels by algae. Using CRISPR-Cas9, the company Synthetic Genomics has created strains of algae that produce twice as much fat, which is then used to produce biodiesel. In particular, the gene-editing tool allowed scientists to find and remove genes that limit the production of fats.
Eradicating pests: CRISPR could help us control the numbers of animal species that transmit infectious diseases or that are invasive in a particular ecosystem. The gene-editing technology can be used to create ‘gene drives’ that ensure a genetic modification will be inherited by all the offspring, spreading throughout an animal population over several generations.