Back in 2016, the National InstitutionsThe US public health service allowed a research group from the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) to begin testing CRISPR (genome editing) technology in humans. Nevertheless, the controversial and earned highly controversial assessment of scientists technology has just now reached the clinical trials in the United States. Representatives of the University of UPenn in an interview with NPR confirmed that they officially began to use it. Scientists point out that this event may lead to a wider use of technology in the future.
The CRISPR technology was used by UPenn scientists totreatment of two cancer patients in the late stage of the disease. One of them has multiple foci of melanoma, the other suffers from sarcoma. It is noted that patients who were not helped by all available treatments, agreed to voluntarily go through the CRISPR gene editing program.
First, researchers removed immune cellspatient systems, using CRISPR to edit cells, “programming” them to fight the tumor, and then returning them to the patient’s organisms. The results of this study will soon be announced at one of the medical congresses, and will also receive a publication.
Traditional gene therapy uses viruses tointroducing new genes into cells to treat diseases. CRISPR technology, in turn, largely avoids the use of viruses, reducing the risk of infection. Instead, scientists directly make changes in DNA using special molecular tools.
UPenn researchers believe their workcompletely different from what the Chinese scientist He Jiankui did. The latter used CRISPR to edit the genes of human embryos, thereby triggering the chain of transmission of gene modifications to future generations. At the same time, he conducted this work on his own, without informing anyone about it. In an environment where the entire scientific community is still deciding on the safety of CRISPR in humans. As a result, this event led to a wave of protests and demands to introduce a moratorium on editing the genes of hereditary traits. The research of specialists from UPenn, meanwhile, is aimed at medical treatment, by modifying the DNA of adults already, who were not helped by any of the existing methods of treatment.
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