Scientists were able to cure blindness with the help of the technology of gene editing

The famous gene-editing technology CRISPR was first used inside the human body. Scientists from the University of Oregon health Sciences (OHSU) provided the public with the results of the new experiment, which was invented a progressive method of treatment of inherited blindness, according to the portal Despite the fact that genetic engineering as a science emerged in the mid-twentieth century, scientists have long hesitated to apply it in person, fearing the emergence of a number of ethical issues that accompany this field of knowledge. Anyway, recently operated on a man can give the green light to the active use of CRISPR in the treatment of several diseases. Is gene editing is starting to enter our everyday life?

The technology of gene editing has helped in the treatment of vision

Amaurosis Leber — hereditary disease, because of which patients are born blind or lose their sight during the first years of life. This rare disease is caused by the emergence of a special genetic mutation that affects the retina of the eye, ultimately depriving the patient the opportunity to see. In order to try to fix the defective gene that causes the emergence and further development of the disease, scientists first used the technology to edit genes within the walls of the University of Oregon by entering a loaded CRISPR medication directly to the photoreceptor cells behind the retina of the affected.

Since its inception in 2012, the technology for editing genes showed himself as a promising method for the treatment of a number of genetic diseases. A new tool allows scientists to literally cut out the damaged sites of the DNA will result in disease development by inserting in the empty space with something more useful.

During the preparation for the experiment it was found that amaurosis Leber is caused by failure in the gene CEP290 responsible for the development of the retina.the CRISPR technology was tested on humans before, surgery on the organs of sight affected by hereditary syndrome, became the first edit conducted on humans. So, if previously, doctors had to remove a cell from a patient, modifying them in the laboratory and then returning to the place, a new clinical trial marks the first case where CRISPR has been edited directly inside the human body.

Inspired by the success of the operation, mark Pennesi, senior scientist OHSU, said that in the relatively near future, the CRISPR technology can open man is virtually limitless prospects in the treatment of genetic diseases. In addition to prevention of hereditary blindness, editing of genes held right within man, may also have saved us from a much broader spectrum of diseases than previously assumed.

As it often happens, the use of a new treatment method there is one significant “but.” In this case, experts fear that artificially edited genes can affect children, where patients will want to have in the future. If during the operation the surgeon will make even a small mistake, the consequences of improper editing can change the natural gene pool of humans for generations.