Breakthrough for DNA-Editing: US Team Discovers 'Holy Grail' to Fix Genes to Cure Incurable Diseases

Discussion in 'Research News' started by Danny Boy, Nov 19, 2016.

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    1. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/a...xtend-human-lifespan.html?ito=social-facebook

      • Salk Institute scientists have used new technique to cure rats' blindness
      • It is the first time anyone has edited DNA in eyes, heart, brain or liver
      • These organs' cells rarely divide, making them very difficult to penetrate
      • So far the most advanced method is called CRISPR, which can edit skin and gut genes - it was tested yesterday by Chinese scientists
      • But Salk's study has been hailed as biggest leap in DNA research to date
      Scientists have discovered how to edit DNA to repair 'broken genes' to cure incurable diseases - and potentially extend human lifespan.

      Until now, it has not been possible to alter genes in the brain, heart, liver and eyes - the root of many debilitating illnesses.

      Since the cells in these vital organs tend not to divide, it is difficult to gain access to make changes.

      However, researchers at the Salk Institute claim to have landed on 'the holy grail of gene editing', which can delicately and smoothly cut through DNA.

      3A737E9900000578-3943298-image-a-38_1479326528528.jpg

      Salk Institute scientists have used new technique to cure rats' blindness. It is the first time anyone has edited DNA in eyes, heart, brain or liver

      So far the technique, called HITI, has been used to successfully restore blindness in lab mice.

      Lead researcher Professor Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte insists that is nothing compared to the changes the technique could have in the decades to come.

      'We are very excited by the technology we discovered because it's something that could not be done before,' Dr Belmonte said.

      'For the first time, we can enter into cells that do not divide and modify the DNA at will. The possible applications of this discovery are vast.'

      News of the discovery comes a day after Chinese scientists successfully tested a similar DNA-modifying technique, known as CRISPR.

      To date, CRISPR has been the most effective method for dividing cells in large organs like the skin or the gut.

      It uses the cells' normal copying mechanisms, allowing DNA to be inserted and incorporated into very precise locations within the genome.

      However, Salk's investigators say their technology is ten times more efficient at incorporating new DNA into cultures of dividing cells.

      It means it is a promising tool for both research and medicine.

      Crucially, it marks the first time scientists have managed to insert a new gene into a precise DNA location in adult cells that no longer divide, such as those of the eye, brain, pancreas or heart.

      The landmark procedure offers swathes of new possibilities for disease treatment.

      The researchers were working on rats who were born with retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic disease that causes blindness.


      They targeted a DNA-repair pathway, which repairs standard DNA breaks by rejoining the original strand ends.

      Next, they used this pathway, and existing gene-editing technology, to insert new DNA into a precise location in non-dividing cells.

      After the procedure, the rats had regained a significant amount of their vision.

      'No one has done this before,' Keiichiro Suzuki, a senior research associate in the Izpisua Belmonte lab and one of the paper's lead authors, said.

      The team's next steps will be to improve the delivery efficiency of the HITI construct.

      As with all genome editing technologies, getting enough cells to incorporate the new DNA is a challenge.

      The beauty of HITI technology is that it can adapt to any kind of gene-editing technique and machinery, not just CRISPR.

      'We now have a technology that allows us to modify the DNA of non-dividing cells, to fix broken genes in the brain, heart and liver,' says Izpisua Belmonte.

      'It allows us for the first time to be able to dream of curing diseases that we couldn't before, which is exciting.'
       
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    2. Mario martz
      Creative

      Mario martz Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2016
      Great!
      this is awesome, just kinda worried that maybe the pharma industry wouldnt be so please with the news haha
       
    3. Artemis2K
      Blah

      Artemis2K Member

      Does this mean we can now have ears with bird/zebrafish genes?
       
      • Funny Funny x 1
    4. Ian Mac

      Ian Mac Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Vestibular Nueritis, loud music (dubstep)
      Not haha. This is a very real fear.
       
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    5. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      I dont believe these "conspiracy theories" about big pharma , really does not make sense.
       
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    6. Mricha37

      Mricha37 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Car subwoofers for 6 years
      Big pharma would crap themselves if they got the patent on any therapy that cures cancer, blindness, or hearing.
       
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    7. Ian Mac

      Ian Mac Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Vestibular Nueritis, loud music (dubstep)
      How wonderfully naive of you! How is the weather in your alternate reality where things "make sense"?
       
    8. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      Weather is fine except for of course when the government is controlling it with Darpa.
      Obviously the aluminum in the atmosphere after chemtrails is worse when the government makes it rain.
      I will not say anymore because they are monitoring me.
       
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    9. Sasja
      Bookworm

      Sasja Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Off-forum: We need more Elon Musks. It's always the established players in the market that hold off 'disruptions' until they can assimilate en adjust/conform. (cfr. Coca-Cola vs. Stevia) And sometimes its just crazy lobbying. (cfr. Tobacco industry) But when we look at the car industry and electric vehicles we see the rise of Tesla as a milestone for electric engines in cars, all of the sudden all major car producers pushed their electric lines. Furthermore, Musk published all his 'secrets' about electric cars incite this movement. Never think that the mass is right or that one (wealthy) voice can't make a difference. We need this in pharma.
       
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    10. beeeep

      beeeep Member

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      ~2000, but real bad since 06/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      But don't you know that Big Pharma is not in control because all their T advances are destroyed by the mighty hearing aid industry? I read it on the internet, so it must be true! ;)
       
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    11. Alue

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Just a little nitpick... but I think you are thinking of HAARP. Darpa stands for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    12. Mario martz
      Creative

      Mario martz Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2016
      i dont know if this is kinda related
      but a girl i know who has a few tumors (cancer in her body)
      posted on facebook that she was going under a treatment at the university of standford...

      Im gonna try to do my best to translate it..

      the specialist of genetic in Stanford found my two genetic mutations that were causing my body to make cancer cells.... gen "A" has treatment, and gen "B" that is still under investigation.

      im gonna take a pill that basically kills gen a, you do this instead of killing the cancer cells, this will hopefully help that my body stops making those cells....

      could this be related?
       
    13. No. The Salk study was done in rats. HITI is an improvement on CRISPR, and the first human trial of CRISPR began in October in China. First US trial using CRISPR starting next year.
       
    14. Mario martz
      Creative

      Mario martz Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2016
      i know they are different studies.
      but are they related, like similar? genes? attacking a bad gene? thats what i meant.
       
    15. swc5150

      swc5150 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2012
      Just like the eyeglass / contact lens industry destroyed the Lasik surgery industry...oh wait! ;)
       
      • Like Like x 2

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