nu·​cle·​ase | \ ˈnü-klē-ˌās How to pronounce nuclease (audio) , ˈnyü-, -ˌāz \

Definition of nuclease

: any of various enzymes that promote hydrolysis of nucleic acids

Examples of nuclease in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This high charge inhibits defense molecules called nucleases, proteins that degrade foreign DNA and RNA, from getting close. Scientific American, "The Power of Spheres," 25 Dec. 2019 In contrast, nucleases primarily result in an uncontrollable mixture of indels at the target site. Sharon Begley, STAT, "You had questions for David Liu about CRISPR, prime editing, and advice to young scientists. He has answers," 6 Nov. 2019 American scientists have carried out similar experiments on humans, with some success, using an older gene editing tool called zinc finger nuclease. Serenitie Wang, CNN, "Chinese scientists use CRISPR tool on HIV patient for the first time," 13 Sep. 2019 The machinery involved are called TALENs (transcription activator-like effector nucleases), which are enzymes that can be customized to snip a targeted spot in a genetic code. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Part cow, part… bacterium? Biotech company makes heifer of gene-editing blunder," 1 Sep. 2019 Her lab at the time was having steady success with a more cumbersome genome editor, transcription activatorlike effector nuclease (TALEN), the system Voytas invented. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "To feed its 1.4 billion, China bets big on genome editing of crops," 29 July 2019 Thompson referred to other gene-editing technology called zinc-finger nucleases, which are also being investigated as a way to spur production of fetal hemoglobin. Michael Nedelman And Minali Nigam, CNN, "Trial underway in US uses CRISPR gene-editing in people with severe sickle cell disease," 30 July 2019 And Sangamo Therapeutics, a company in Richmond, California, has employed an older gene editing tool called zinc finger nucleases to knock out a gene in some of the cells of HIV patients to help them resist the virus. Jocelyn Kaiser, Science | AAAS, "Gene edited monkeys offer hope for heart disease patients," 9 July 2018 Zhang's team created its RNA base-editor system by fusing gRNA with a different dead nuclease, dCas13, and a natural enzyme that converts A to I in RNA. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "Novel CRISPR-derived 'base editors' surgically alter DNA or RNA, offering new ways to fix mutations," 25 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nuclease.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of nuclease

1902, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of nuclease was in 1902

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Cite this Entry

“Nuclease.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for nuclease


nu·​cle·​ase | \ ˈn(y)ü-klē-ˌās, -ˌāz How to pronounce nuclease (audio) \

Medical Definition of nuclease

: any of various enzymes that promote hydrolysis of nucleic acids

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