Researchers at Temple University might have just unlocked the key to extracting HIV out of human immune cell DNA using the advanced CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing method.
This method was first introduced into the scientific world in 2012 and has since gained traction as a serious means by which to treat the root causes of genetic disease. Essentially, the technique allows scientists to zero in on a specific gene and edit its DNA to change its function.
This is achieved by first forcing a bacterium (CRISPR) to interact with viral DNA. When the bacteria encounters the DNA, it makes an identical strand of the virus, called the guide RNA. This guide RNA then latches onto a protein (Cas9) and together they go search for other viral strands. When they find them, the protein effectively cuts up the infected DNA, destroying it completely.—Cody Gohl/NewNowNext
CRISPR gene editing tool used to treat genetic disease in an animal for the first time
For the first time, scientists have used CRISPR gene editing to successfully treat a genetic disease inside a fully developed living mammal. CRISPR editing is a process whereby scientists can effectively rewrite the genetic code of an organism by cutting out and replacing individual components of DNA.
In this study, researchers in the US used CRISPR to treat an adult mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, delivering the gene-editing system directly to affected tissues by way of a non-pathogenic virus called adeno-associated virus, or AAV. — Peter Dockrill/ScienceAlert.com