“Chemical Surgery Can Correct Genetic Mutations Behind Many Diseases”
Check out this recent article posted in The Guardian. It reveals that through clever use of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology (CRISPR-Cas9 is a sort of new technology that enables “tailor made” DNA cutting sites) the team developed a catalytically impaired CRSIPR-Cas9 system (i.e., it won’t cut both strands of DNA) so that the team could just nick the DNA (“cut” only one strand of DNA). They also coupled a deaminase enzyme (an enzyme that removes an amino group) to the editing system (above) to convert adenine into inosine (that essentially changes one of the letter codes in DNA to another letter). This allows the cell DNA repair mechanisms to come in to correct this with the end result being conversion of what was an A-T base pair into a G-C base pair (This change in base pairs “repairs” the point mutation and thus mitigates the “disease”). This advancement opens up and lays the foundation for the treatment of diseases that are the result of single point mutations. That being said, there still lies a lot of work ahead to bring this amazing development into a practical reality.
Bottom Line: This clever use of new DNA editing technology has great potential in alleviating suffering from many diseases. 🙂
Photo ID: The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/oct/25/chemical-surgery-can-correct-genetic-mutations-behind-many-diseases-study