The CRISPR/Cas9 system has been rapidly adopted for genome editing. However, one major issue with this system is the lack of robust bioinformatics tools for design of single guide RNA (sgRNA), which determines the efficacy and specificity of genome editing. To address this pressing need, we analyze CRISPR RNA-seq data and identify many novel features that are characteristic of highly potent sgRNAs. These features are used to develop a bioinformatics tool for genome-wide design of sgRNAs with improved efficiency. These sgRNAs as well as the design tool are freely accessible via a web server, WU-CRISPR (http://crispr.wustl.edu ).