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Table 1 The timeline of genome editing groundbreaking achievements

From: New insights on CRISPR/Cas9-based therapy for breast Cancer

Year Contributor Contribution
1987 Yoshizumi Ishino et al. Discovered some repeats in the IAP gene in Escherichia coli. They could not identify the main function of these repeats [11].
1993 Francisco Mojica et al. Characterized what is now called a CRISPR locus as a molecular genetics’ memory of MGE (mobile genetic element) that previously attacked the bacteria cell. They also discovered tandem repeats (TREPs) in Haloarchaea [12].
1996 Yang-Gyun Kim et al. Genetically engineered the first restriction-modification enzymes with the ability to cut at specific target sequences. This enzyme was amenable to be used in editing genomes [13].
2000 Jeff Smith et al. Conducted several experiments to show that Zinc Finger Nucleases (ZFN) can generate double-stranded DNA breaks, and hence could be used as a genome-editing tool [14].
2002 Marina Bibikova et al. Used Zinc fingers for the first time to disrupt genes in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster [15].
2002 Ruud Jansen et al. Coined the term CRISPR that stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats [16].
2004 Alan Lloyd et al. Announced the first plant genome modified with the Zinc Finger Nuclease, that is the tool that could be used in editing genomes. This tool could also be used to create models of human genetic diseases [17].
2005 Alexander Bolotin et al. Discovered a new CRISPR locus in streptococcus thermophilus. He also noted that the spacers, which have homology to viral genes, share a common sequence at one end. This sequence would be later known as protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) [18].
2006 Eugene Koonin et al. Suggested that CRISPR is an immune system that works by interference with RNA in bacteria. He also classified about 25 distinct Cas families, and predicted their new functions [19].
2008 John van der Oost et al. Showed that spacer sequences are transcribed into CRISPR RNAs (crRNAs), that guide Cas nuclease to the target DNA of the invader [20].
2010 Sylvain Moineau et al. Indicated that CRISPR/Cas9 generates DSBs 3 nucleotides upstream of the PAM sequence in target DNA [21].
2011 Emmanuelle Charpentier et al. Discovered another type of RNA found in the CRISPR system’s components called trans-activating RNA (tracrRNA). She indicated that tracrRNA works simultaneously with crRNA in directing the Cas9 protein to cut the target sequence [22].
2012 Virginijus Siksnys et al. Indicated that Cas9 consists of two domains, which are RuvC and HNH, and that the first domain cuts in the distant DNA strand, while the second cuts in the strand where the integration between crRNA and DNA occurs [23].
2012 Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier Engineered the dual-tracrRNA:crRNA as a single RNA chimera called gRNA [24].
2013 Feng Zhang et al. Announced the use of CRISPR/Cas9 in the editing of human genes, the matter that opened the door to the use of CRISPR in the medical field [25].
2015 Feng Zhang et al. Introduced Cpf1 as a new nuclease that works in more efficient way than Cas9 [26].
2015 Junjiu Huang et al. Reported the first application of CRISPR to non-viable human embryos [27].
2016 Kamel Khalili et al. Used CRISPR/Cas9 to edit HIV out of a human immune cell DNA, and therefore, prevent the reinfection of unedited cells too [28].
2016 Kevin Esvelt et al. Developed the CRISPR/Cas9 gene drive [29].
2017 Jennifer Doudna et al. Developed a CRISPR-Gold, which is a new version of the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, in this new technology, they used gold nanoparticles for delivering the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing system into cells [30].
2018 Norbert Reich et al. Introduced light-triggered genome editing approach using hollow gold nanospheres. This approach is 100 to 1000 times more efficient than current genome editing methods [31].