She blinded me with Science: “Scientists have removed HIV from human immune cells using a new gene-editing technique”

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Scanning electron micrograph of an HIV-infected H9 T cell. Credit: NIAID/Flickr

Scientists edited HIV-1 DNA out of the genome of human immune cells, preventing virus replication and reinfection of the unedited cells.

Using the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technique, scientists at Temple University eliminated HIV-1 DNA from T cell genomes in lab experiments, and prevented reinfection after the cells were re-exposed to the virus, they report in a study published in Nature: Scientific Reports.

Did You Know?

CRISPR is essentially an enzyme that slices DNA like a pair of scissors, and a guide RNA that takes it to the right spot in the genome. (It was developed from a method that bacteria use to fight off viruses.)


For More Information:

    • March 22, 2016 All five of the scientists (Feng Zhang, Jennifer Doudna, Emmanuelle Charpentier, Philippe Horvath, and Rodolphe Barrangou) that worked on CRISPR’s development were announced as winners of the 2016 Canada Gairdner International Award. The awards provide a $100,000 (CDN) prize to each scientist for their work.
      • The Canada Gairdner International Awards, created in 1959, are given annually to recognize and reward the achievements of medical researchers whose work contributes significantly to the understanding of human biology and disease. The five honorees of the International Awards are selected after a rigorous two-part review, with the winners voted by secret ballot by a medical advisory board composed of 33 eminent scientists from around the world.
  • The Winter 2015 issue of Genome Magazine has an article by Kendall Morgan, entitled “Brave New World“, which I fact-checked, and is the reason behind my putting science articles on my blog.

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