By Sean Marshall
Welcome back to the Sickle Cell news. After a short break due to the holiday season we are proud to be updating and is better then ever. According to the Mercury News the Stanford School of Medicine is utilizing pipettes DNA for gene editing of stem cells. This is all in an attempt to eradicate harmful diseases like sickle cell anemia.
As of right now it has been reported that “tiny vials of recently repaired blood cells are thriving in a Stanford incubator, proof that a powerful new gene-editing technique is fixing errant genes that cause so much human suffering.” This means that the breakthrough that is gene editing is getting closer and closer.
This is all capable because of new technology called “CRISPR-Cas9, acts as a microscopic scalpel, performing genomic surgery with a precision, efficiency and affordability once thought unimaginable.” The technology know as CRISPR-Cas9 actually “acts as a microscopic scalpel, performing genomic surgery with a precision, efficiency and affordability once thought unimaginable.”
This technology has been mentioned before on sickle news but this is one of the first instances that the technology has been used to actually cure or in the very least make progress towards curing. That isn't to say that CRISPR-Cas9 has not been used to it's full potential but most news coverage is on the device itself and what it could do rather then what it actually is doing.
It was also explained that “the research being done at the Stanford School of Medicine, led by Dr. Matthew Porteus, is part of an accelerating research movement made possible using the new technique to try to cure genetic diseases such as sickle cell anemia and muscular dystrophy.”
It's also worth mentioning that this wouldn't have been possible without companies raising large sums of money to keep the labs afloat. This was so prevalent that the article actually mentioned that the university takes outside donations in order to keep the very expensive equipment running.
This could mean however that if sickle cell anemia is cured it could be month or even years before it makes it's way to the general public and that said cure would be pricey and most likely involve a length stay in a hospital. This is of course speculation and only time will tell what truly happens all we can do is hope a cure does come fast.
The original article can be found here: http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_29333667/stanford-bringing-gene-editing-patients-deadly-diseases
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