Huntington’s disease research news. In plain language. Written by scientists. For the global HD community.
Genome editing is a much-discussed frontier in medical science at the moment, with ‘DNA surgery’ having the potential to treat or cure genetic diseases like Huntington’s. Here we look at what this technology can currently do and discuss the challenges that still lie in the way. We’ll also discuss how a team of Swiss scientists have recently developed a way to switch off the genome-editing machinery after it’s done its job.
CRISPR-Cas9 is an experimental gene editing technique used to make precise changes in DNA. For the first time, scientists have used this approach to attack the Huntington's Disease mutation in the brain cells of a mouse. Other researchers are refining CRISPR-Cas9 to be more efficient, specific, and safe. It’s still a long way from use in HD patients, but its application in mice is an exciting step forward.
Recent days have seen a slew of news emerging regarding the use of something called genome editing as a potential therapy for genetic diseases like Huntington's Disease. These approaches, which include exotic sounding tools like zinc finger nucleases and CRISPR/Cas9, differ from more traditional ways reducing the impact of the HD mutation on cells. What's new in this exciting area of research?
After an exciting day of science yesterday, day 2 saw updates on strategies to rid cells of the harmful mutant huntingtin protein and exciting reports on current and planned clinical trials.
Recent days have seen a torrent of news stories about a new technology, called CRISPR, which has been described as having potential application in Huntington's disease. Is this new technique as cool as it sounds? Possibly — but, as always, the truth is more complicated than the headlines suggest.