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CRISPR/Cas9 successfully used to suppress hepatitis B virus; implications for other viruses

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Waverunner, Jun 5, 2015.

  1. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

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    What a nice week. Not only do we seem to get a new test for over 1,000 strains of human viruses but we also seem to reach a point where we can treat/cure viral infections with powerful new tools.

    http://www.nature.com/srep/2015/150602/srep10833/full/srep10833.html#results

    "In summary, these results constitute the first example of CRISPR/Cas9 systems directly targeting an authentic pathogenic virus with episomal DNA, and demonstrate the potential for cccDNA-directed antiviral therapy using Cas9, which may represent a significant step towards the cure of chronic HBV infection. The results demonstrated here may also be used to inform the development of CRISPR/Cas9-based therapeutics for other DNA viruses, such as herpesviruses and papillomaviruses that use an episomal DNA as a template for their gene expression and replication."
     
  2. Bob

    Bob

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    Thanks Waverunner.

    I don't understand the technology, so I'm struggling to understand the potential implications of this technology. Can anyone confirm if it means that they can now (at least in theory) design and create specific cures for any viruses? They've started with Hep B, and have successfully used the technology in a mouse model against Hep B.
     
  3. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

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    I'm no expert but I think this method can be extended to any virus. CRISPR/Cas9 could be the solution to quick, efficient and cheap gene related treatments for nearly all diseases.
     
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  4. Bob

    Bob

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    I don't understand the technology but, in short, it's a gene editing tool that can be used to target human pathogens. I'm not sure how far away this technology is from approved use in humans. I imagine it would have to undergo extensive safety testing.

    There's some background info about it here, but I'm still struggling to understand it:
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/CRISPR
     
    Waverunner likes this.

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