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Genetic Treatments for Sickle-Cell

Scientific American
By Karen Weintraub

Using, single molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing researchers find that DNA methylation may play a far wider function in prokaryotic genome biology than was previously supposed.

Currently, the only known cure for sickle-cell disease is prohibitively expensive bone marrow transplantation. This may be changing in the near future, though, as researchers and companies are looking gene editing methods to help sickle-cell sufferers. Sickle-cell disease symptoms don't start developing in children until a few months after birth. Prior to that, infants possess fetal hemoglobin, which allows them to compete for oxygen from the placenta and helps hold back the symptoms. Although fetal hemoglobin drops off, it never completely disappears from adults -- about 1% of all hemoglobin in an adult is fetal. Individuals whose fetal hemoglobin doesn't shut down, but who have inherited the sickle-cell trait from both parents are protected from sickle-cell patients. Now, teams of researchers are looking to aid sickle-cell patients by editing the genome so that their fetal hemoglobin is turned back on.

Reference: Genetic Treatments for Sickle-Cell
Added 2016/04/25 by VitaScientific
Genetic Treatments for Sickle-Cell
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