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14 June, 2024
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HIV removed from cells, researchers find

Scientists use crispr to remove virus


In a groundbreaking development, scientists have utilized the Nobel Prize-winning Crispr gene-editing technology to eliminate HIV from infected cells.

As BBC reports, functioning akin to molecular scissors, Crispr can precisely cut DNA, removing or deactivating problematic segments.

The aim of this innovative approach is to eventually eradicate the virus from the body entirely, a feat unachievable with current HIV medications, which can only suppress the virus. However, considerable additional research is imperative to ensure the safety and efficacy of this method.

Presenting their initial findings at a medical conference, researchers from the University of Amsterdam emphasize that their work is still in the early stages and should not be misconstrued as a cure for HIV at this juncture. Dr. James Dixon from the University of Nottingham underscores the necessity for thorough scrutiny of the complete findings before considering its potential as a viable therapy.

While other scientists are also exploring Crispr's application against HIV, challenges persist. Excision BioTherapeutics reports promising results in three HIV-positive volunteers after 48 weeks with no serious adverse effects. However, Dr. Jonathan Stoye from the Francis Crick Institute highlights the formidable task of eradicating HIV from all potential host cells in the body, along with concerns about off-target effects and long-term consequences.

HIV operates by infecting and attacking immune cells, integrating its genetic material into their DNA. Even with effective treatment, some infected cells enter a latent state, posing a persistent challenge. Although rare cases of apparent "cures" have been reported following aggressive cancer therapy, such extreme measures are not advisable solely for HIV treatment.

In conclusion, while the utilization of Crispr technology holds promise in the fight against HIV, significant hurdles remain before it can be considered a routine therapeutic option, necessitating continued research and scrutiny.

[With information sourced from BBC]

Cyprus  |  health  |  HIV  |  science  |  cancer

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