Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Support for use of Crispr Technique as Treatment for Hereditary Disease Growing

As previously reported here, earlier this year scientists employed a new technique called Crispr in order to perform genetic alterations to the human genome. What sets the Crispr technique apart is its ability to make accurate and detailed alterations to specific positions in the genome of humans, or in fact, any organism. This development is now being hailed as a revolution that will allow for better treatment of cancer, incurable viruses and inherited genetic disorders.

Secondary structure image for CRISPR-DR57
by Rfam database

The Crispr technique is truly a triumph of basic science. The process was first identified as a natural defense system used by bacteria to protect themselves from viruses. The applicability of the Crispr technique to other organisms was quickly realized and finally applied to the human genome earlier this year.

It is hoped that having a tool that so accurately alters the genome will reduce concerns about making alterations to the genome of IVF embryos. If this technique is successfully employed some doctors believe that it could be used to eliminate genetic diseases from affected families.

Information for this blog was obtained from the following:

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