Search Algorithm Reveals Nearly 200 New Kinds of Rare CRISPR Systems

Microbial sequence databases contain a wealth of information about enzymes and other molecules that could be adapted for biotechnology. But these databases have grown so large in recent years that they’ve become difficult to search efficiently for enzymes of interest. Now, scientists at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the National Institutes of Health have developed a new search algorithm that has identified 188 kinds of new rare CRISPR systems in bacterial genomes, encompassing thousands of individual systems. The work was published on November 23, 2023 in Science. The article is titled “Uncovering the Functional Diversity of Rare CRISPR-Cas Systems with Deep Terascale Clustering.”
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