“Soft” CRISPR May Offer New Fix for Genetic Defects; Targeted Repairs With “Nicks” of Single DNA Strands Provide Foundation for Novel Disease Therapies

Curing debilitating genetic diseases is one of the great challenges of modern medicine. During the past decade, development of CRISPR technologies and advancements in genetics research brought new hope for patients and their families, although the safety of these new methods is still of significant concern. Publishing July 1, 2022 in the journal Science Advances, a team of biologists at the University of California San Diego that includes postdoctoral scholar Sitara Roy, PhD, specialist Annabel Guichard, PhD, and Professor Ethan Bier, PhD, describes a new, safer approach that may correct genetic defects in the future. Their strategy, which makes use of natural DNA repair machinery, provides a foundation for novel gene therapy strategies with the potential to cure a large spectrum of genetic diseases. The open-access article is titled “Cas9/Nickase-Induced Allelic Conversion by Homologous Chromosome-Templated Repair in Drosophila Somatic Cells.”
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