CRISPR (//) (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) is a family of DNA sequences found in the genomes of prokaryotic organisms such as bacteria and archaea. These sequences are derived from DNA fragments of bacteriophages that had previously infected the prokaryote. They are used to detect and destroy DNA from similar bacteriophages during subsequent infections. Hence these sequences play a key role in the antiviral (i.e. anti-phage) defence system of prokaryotes.
The CRISPR-Cas system is a prokaryotic immune system that confers resistance to foreign genetic elements such as those present within plasmids and phages and provides a form of acquired immunity. RNA harbouring the spacer sequence helps Cas (CRISPR-associated) proteins recognize and cut foreign pathogenic DNA. Other RNA-guided Cas proteins cut foreign RNA. CRISPR is found in approximately 50% of sequenced bacterial genomes and nearly 90% of sequenced archaea.
These systems have created CRISPR gene editing that commonly utilizes the cas9 gene. This editing process has a wide variety of applications including basic biological research, development of biotechnology products, and treatment of diseases. The CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technique was a significant contributor to the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2020 being awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna. Wikipedia