New cell technique could lead to repairs in damaged DNA

Researchers working with University of Wisconsin stem cell scientist James Thomson and Northwestern University have developed a new way to repair damaged DNA, raising the possibility that doctors may one day be able to fix mistakes in our genetic code that cause a host of illnesses.

Reporting in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers described using small RNA molecules to ferry a protein to a specific gene in a human cell. The protein, called Cas9, is found in the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis and has the ability to cut off sections of DNA.

By using this technique, scientists could conceivably remove a section of a gene that contains a harmful mistake known as a mutation. They could repair the gene or inactivate the gene altogether.

Read the full, original story here: New cell technique could lead to repairs in damaged DNA

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