CRISPR may destroy herpes virus present within almost all humans

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Almost all of us carry one form or another of herpes virus, and the consequences can be far worse than the occasional cold sore. Herpes viruses also cause shingles and can be implicated in blindness, birth defects, and even cancer – and as yet, we can’t rid ourselves of them.

However, gene editing may allow us to destroy these latent viruses. Robert Jan Lebbink at the University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands, and his colleagues are developing a therapy that might safely clear certain herpes viruses from the body by messing with their DNA. This means gene editing can help destroy dormant viruses. When CRISPR is used to cut viral DNA in two or more important places, there is a good chance that the DNA will not be repaired properly, leaving the virus unable to function. However, significant challenges still lie ahead.

“Delivery and safety are key issues that need to be solved,” says Lebbink – although progress is being made, he adds.

Read full, original post: Gene editing could destroy herpes viruses living inside you

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