Gene editing cells transplanted into HIV positive patient
Chinese scientists have successfully transplanted gene edited blood cells into an HIV positive patient who also had leukaemia. Using CRISPR - a gene editing tool - the researchers removed the CCR5 gene from blood cells before transplanting them into the patient. The CCR5 gene is the same gene that was targeted in the world’s first gene-edited human babies, as cells without the CCR5 gene are largely resistant to HIV infection. The researchers found that the blood cells without CCR5 hung around for more than 19 months with no gene editing-related adverse effects. But they accounted for just 5 per cent of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, which indicates the need for further research into this approach.
Organisation/s: Peking University, China
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