By CRISPR Whisperer
Hi, I’m the CRISPR Critter. I write this Blog under my CRISPR Whisperer pen name. CRISPR Whispers is the name of the island city state where CRISPR Ahead™, the Game being created about me, takes place. The Ahead in the Game’s name is fitting, given that a lot of the play takes place 80 years in the future.
First, let me tout the foundation of my claim to fame. For eons, I’ve been the key weapon against the viruses who keep trying to take over and destroy my host bacteria. The first time an invading virus usurps my host’s protein manufacturing machinery, a piece of that virus’s DNA gets filed in the Enemies Library of my host’s genome. So, after that, whenever that specific virus invades, my RNA grabber arm (red in my picture) recognizes the piece of its genome on file and grabs onto it, serving it up to my protein teeth (blue in my picture), who promptly cut it, destroying the virus. That heroic service has earned me the exalted title of “Immune System!”
Fast forward to 2012, when two Sci Eyes, Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier, uncover my amazing seek-and-destroy abilities. Not only that, but they—along with other Sci Eyes—figure out how to insert DNA of their choosing into the genome cuts I make. And right away, many Sci Eyes test my mettle far and wide, allowing me to prove that I can perform my magic on the DNA of any living thing! And, as you humans say, the rest is history!
Now, I’m telling all you CRISPR-Curious Comrades, you’d better turn on your imaginations to consider which genomes you want me to target, and which not, because the Sci Eyes are speedily turning my skills to the human purposes featured in my Slide Show, with more sure to come.
My mission is to help you think about those momentous decisions—and, in the process, encourage insights about yourself. No spoilers here about how I’ll do that. You’ll just have to hitch your mind to this Blog to find out!
There’s more. I’ll perch on the brain of my namesake Game’s creator, “Doc Dorotheanna” (nicknamed Da), and record progress toward the Game. Then, when I recount the ups and downs of that creative journey in my posts here, I’ll drop some insights—mine and Da’s—aimed at nurturing YOUR creativity.
Oh…one more thing! Da, who adopted me as her Rescue Critter, is hellbent on delivering the Game AND developing an audience for it by her 90th birthday, when spring dawns in 2020. To do that, she needs many of you to help spread interest in me and the Game; and she hopes some of you will also contribute creative inputs to the Game’s development. So please subscribe to this Blog; I’ll go all out to make it worth your while!
PS. BIG THANKS to Jane Burns, the splendid artist who created my portrait. Jane even gave me the beautiful face of her mother, who first appeared as Ginger Snap in Jane’s Bold Maid Card Game, so much better than its outdated Old Maid predecessor.