Cheap, easy technique to snip DNA could revolutionize gene therapy

January 8, 2013

A simple, precise, and inexpensive method for cutting DNA to insert genes into human cells could transform genetic medicine, making routine what now are expensive, complicated and rare procedures for replacing defective genes to fix genetic disease or even cure AIDS.

Discovered last year, two new papers published last week in the journal Science Express demonstrate that the technique also works in human cells.

“The ability to modify specific elements of an organism’s genes has been essential to advance our understanding of biology, including human health,” said Jennifer Doudna, a professor of molecular and cell biology and of chemistry and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at UC Berkeley.

“However, the techniques for making these modifications in animals and humans have been a huge bottleneck in both research and the development of human therapeutics. This is going to remove this bottleneck, because it means that essentially anybody can use this kind of genome editing or reprogramming to introduce genetic changes into mammalian or, quite likely, other eukaryotic systems.”

Read more: Cheap, easy technique to snip DNA could revolutionize gene therapy | KurzweilAI.

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