RNA gene editing could stop viruses in their tracks

The gene editing technique CRISPR promises to treat all kinds ofgenetically-linked conditions, but it’s so far limited to tweaking DNA, not the RNA that does everything from carrying protein sequence info to regulating gene expression. That may change soon, however. Scientists have discovered that a commonplace mouth bacterium (Leptotrichia shahii) can be programmed to break down whatever RNA you want. You could rip apart viruses, which are frequently based solely around RNA, or kill a cancer cell by denying it the chance to make vital proteins.

This isn’t a cure-all right now. Researchers have to refine their approach before it works in humans, and it’s hard to say whether or not this RNA editing will be as effective in practice. As you might surmise, though, the potential is huge. If this works as well as it suggests, you could fight a wider array of illnesses with gene editing, even those that are notoriously difficult to treat using conventional methods.

source: engadget.com by Jon Fingas

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: