CRISPR Discovery: A Whole New World of Microbes

MCB's Professor Jennifer Doudna, in collaboration with Professor Jill Banfield (of earth & planetary sciences and of ESPM), have "discovered simple CRISPR systems similar to CRISPR-Cas9 — a gene-editing tool that has revolutionized biology — in previously unexplored bacteria that have eluded efforts to grow them in the laboratory."


A cryo-electron tomography image of an ultra-small bacteria similar to the ones found to have small, compact CRISPR-Cas systems potentially suitable for laboratory gene-editing. The bacteria is less than 200 nanometers across (bar is 100 nanometers). The three objects near the bacteria are viruses, or phages, that attack bacteria. Banfield lab image.