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‘Ultra precise’ gene-editing tool developed
A team of Chinese researchers has developed a new gene-editing tool that differs in approach to the most popular CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing therapy, saying the new method is ultra-precise, safe and has potential to treat some genetic diseases, the media reported on Wednesday.
New Delhi : A team of Chinese researchers has developed a new gene-editing tool that differs in approach to the most popular CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing therapy, saying the new method is ultra-precise, safe and has potential to treat some genetic diseases, the media reported on Wednesday.
CRISPR-Cas9 acts as “molecular scissors” that can cut the two strands of DNA in the genome and relies on the cell’s self-healing mechanism to repair.
However, the new tool, known as “base editors”, fixes specific sites in the genome without cutting the double helix, reports South China Morning Post.
Their study was published in the peer-reviewed journal National Science Review that comes under the auspices of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
“It means we have established a system of our own, which is essential for clinical and commercial application,” said Yang Hui, a researcher with the Centre for Excellence in Brain Science and Intelligence Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The “base editing” has already become a major tool to treat genetic diseases.
Last year, a patient in Britain with T-cell leukaemia was treated with a base-edited cell therapy - the world’s first application of this technology.