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Crisprs (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) are loci containing multiple short direct repeats that are found in the genomes of approximately 40% of sequenced bacteria and 90% of sequenced archaea. crispr functions as a prokaryotic immune system, in that it confers resistance to exogenous genetic elements such as plasmids and phages. the crispr system provides a form of acquired immunity.