Wednesday, July 8, 2020

First sickle cell patient to live better in 2020 after CRISPR treatment

Sickle cell anemia is an inherited disorder caused due to a mutation in the hemoglobin, and it creates havoc on patients. People with this disorder have atypical hemoglobin molecules called hemoglobin S. It transforms the red blood cells into a sickle cell shape limiting their ability to carry oxygen and ultimately results in anemia and stroke. The treatment that reverses this condition is the bone marrow transfusion that requires a donor, but it works only for just 10% of the patients.

Victoria Gray, a Mississippi woman, suffered from sickle cell anemia from her young age. She volunteered herself for one of the most anticipated medical experiments in decades. She was the first person in the U.S. to receive the CRISPR treatment, a gene-editing technique one year ago that could change a person’s cell.

Read Also: Nuclear reactor bacteria (radiation-resistant) may be the future of vaccines

What is CRISPR technique

CRISPR, which stands for Cluster Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, is a type of gene editing that makes the scientists cut and paste genes into DNA. It is based on a targeted DNA-destroying defense system originally found in prokaryotes. In the lab, researchers can create a small piece of RNA which effectively binds to the targeted DNA in a genome. Cas9 protein is highly utilized in genetic engineering as it helps in cleaving the DNA in the cell. Cas9 is found in certain bacteria that are capable of attacking the viral DNA for its defense. These proteins are bound to the small piece of RNA created in the lab. As a whole, this sequence recognizes the DNA pattern, and the Cas9 enzyme cuts the DNA in the mutated location. Researchers use the cell’s DNA repair machinery to add or delete pieces of genetic material or to make changes to the DNA by replacing the existing segment with a customized DNA sequence.

Doctors removed bone marrow cells from Gray’s body and edited a gene inside them with CRISPR to produce normal hemoglobin and introduced the modified cell back into her body last July. Scientists called the technique as the genetic equivalent of Microsoft Word.

Read Also: Adjuvants to help HIV patients in prolonging immunity for the long-term

It is found that Gray responds well to the treatment, and she did not suffer from any unnecessary pain after the editing. Even she did not receive any blood transfusion for one year. The doctor said that the one year period is too early to decide whether the CRISPR treatment is efficient and definite to sickle cell disease. Altogether, there was good improvement in the health of the women, and she even was chronicled by NPR.

The woman is thankful for the treatment given by the doctors, and she now cares for her three children during this COVID-19 pandemic and also the racial injustice protests in the United States. Without such treatment, it would be highly impossible to be with her family as she might have been hospitalized amid the pandemic.

Do you want to publish on Apple News, Google News, and more? Join our writing community, improve your writing skills, and be read by hundreds of thousands around the world!

Source: HuffPost India

Comment Below

Featured Stories

Modest alcohol consumption can bring a healthier brain, new study says

The trend towards alcohol is fast growing at the time. It is one of the most popular...

Coronavirus-infected cells grow more branched extensions than normal, new studies reveal

A recent study published in the scientific journal Cell found that infection with the novel coronavirus can...

Latest Stories

Manchester United looking to add three new signings in addition to Jadon Sancho

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is considering signing three more new players in addition to Jadon...

The Bubonic Plague is resurfacing, first case confirmed in China

The world is already suffering from a great pandemic, which is affecting us badly. In addition to...

Can Holloway overcome Volkanovski at UFC 251?

UFC 245 didn't end the way Max Holloway would have expected it to end. Volkanovski won the...

Related Stories

Gene-edited embryos experiment with CRISPR ends disastrously

Scientists at the Francis Crick Institute conducted a gene-editing experiment with CRISPR, leading to unintended side effects...

A breakthrough in Gene Editing to help in the fight against COVID-19

Scientists and researchers around the world are working round the clock to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Gene...