This new technique uses CRISPR-Cas3, while most of the work we've seen so far has been done with CRISPR-Cas9. The tool uses a riboprotein complex known as Cascade to target it, and an enzyme called Cas3 to break down the DNA. This allows it to move across several ten-kilobase DNA segments, breaking up genetic material.
This would allow scientists to determine which DNA segments are most important for a particular disease. This may be particularly useful to understand sections that do not code for a particular protein. With CRISPR-Cas3, researchers could destroy these sections and see what happens.
While gene manipulation has the potential to treat cancer, improve the results of stem cell transplants, and prevent HIV, there are still fears that this could have more causes than we understand and raise ethical concerns. Regardless, researchers behind this technique say it will take years for it to be ready for therapeutic purposes.