Gene Editing Tools, Reversing Diabetes (Abstract Science: Nov. 13– 17)
Scientists’ first-ever attempt at gene editing inside the body, does your body recover better during the day, and have we found a way to reverse diabetes?
(Quartz Media, 11/14/2017, Michael Tabb)
We all had our fair share of bumps and bruises. The antidote to a bad scrape-up is usually a fairly simple recipe: antibiotics, bandages, and time. Now, a new study suggests that timing also matters. Skin cells that help patch up wounds work more quickly during the day than they do at night, thanks to the workings of our circadian clock. The finding suggests patients might recover from injury more quickly if they have surgery during the right time of day. Researchers have found that skin wounds in mice suffered during waking hours healed better than ones incurred during resting hours.
(Washington Post, 11/16/2017, Ariana Eunjung Cha)
Scientists have attempted to cure a patient with a rare genetic disorder by rewriting the DNA inside his body, in a first-of-its-kind therapy they hope could one day be applied to numerous other conditions including hemophilia and sickle cell disease. The procedure, which took place on Monday at the University of California at San Francisco's Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland, Calif., used zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) to target a deficient gene in 44-year-old Brian Maduex’s liver. These edits are designed to enablehimto produce an enzyme that would counteract a metabolic disease he suffers from known as Hunter syndrome.
(Boston Business Journal, 11/16/2017, Jessica Bartlett)
Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital are looking to begin clinical trials on a treatment that has the potential to cure type 1 diabetes using a patients' own blood cells. Researchers from the hospital said they successfully used the treatment to reverse type 1 diabetes in mice. All the mice were cured of diabetes in the short term, and a third of the mice were cured for the duration of their lives. The findings were published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Boston Children’s researchers are now collaborating with scientists from San Diego company Fate Therapeutics to optimize the pill used to modulate the blood stem cells, and have met with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to initiate a trial in humans.
—Compiled by Social Media Specialist Jillian Scola