‘First ever’ human CRISPR trial targets rare beta thalassemia blood disorder

blog

CRISPR, the groundbreaking and controversial gene-editing technique, has been used in a patient with a debilitating blood disease, scientists revealed [February 25].

The US and Swiss companies behind the venture claim to be the first ever to use CRISPR on a human, disregarding the use of it on cancer patients in China.

The unidentified patient in the clinical trial has beta thalassemia, a hereditary condition that turns off a crucial gene, hampering their ability to make hemoglobin, which is needed to push oxygen around the body.

But Swiss biotech company CRISPR Therapeutics, backed by Boston’s Vertex Pharmaceuticals, has attempted to cure the disease using the experimental DNA-editing technique CRISPR to switch the defective gene back on.

Related article:  Are we ‘playing God’ if we screen IVF embryos for IQ potential?

The firms say they are soon to do the same with another patient who has sickle cell anemia, a blood condition that causes excruciating pain.

The scientists hope the treatment – one injection of a harmless virus to snip out and delete the defect, followed by a stem cell injection to insert a ‘healthy’ copy of the gene – will be a one-and-done cure.

Read full, original post: First human in gene-editing trial infused with CRISPR to ‘cure’ rare blood disorder

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
can you boost your immune system to prevent coronavirus spread x

Video: How to boost your immune system to guard against COVID and other illnesses

Scientists have recently developed ways to measure your immune age. Fortunately, it turns out your immune age can go down ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend