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Breakthrough As Gene-Editing Technique Restores Sight To Blind Animals

cell-nucleiBlind animals have had their vision partially restored using a revolutionary DNA editing technique that scientists say could in future be applied to a range of devastating genetic diseases. The study is the first to demonstrate that a gene editing tool, called Crispr, can be used to replace faulty genes with working versions in the cells of adults – in this case adult rats. The latest study, published in the journal Nature, demonstrates that adult rats that had been engineered to have a genetic form of blindness called retinitis pigmentosa could be treated using Crispr gene therapy. “We were able to improve the vision of these blind rats,” said co-lead author Reyna Hernandez-Benitez, also of the Salk Institute. “This early success suggests that this technology is very promising.”

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