Scientists ‘delete’ HIV virus from human DNA for the first time
- Scientists used a DNA-snipping enzyme called Cas9 to cut out the virus
- The cell’s gene repair machinery then takes over, soldering the loose ends of the genome back together – resulting in a virus-free cell
- Process could also be a cure for other latent infections, researchers say
- ‘It’s an exciting discovery, but not ready to go into the clinic,’ said Dr Khalili
Once HIV conquers a human cell, it will stay there forever.
It inserts its deadly genome permanently into its victims’ DNA, forcing them to require medical treatment for the rest of their life.
But now, for the first time, researchers in Philadelphia have found a way to completely delete HIV from human cells by ‘snipping’ them out.
The team of Temple University School of Medicine said the breakthrough marks the first successful attempt to eliminate latent HIV-1 virus from human cells – and could be a cure for other latent infections.
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