CRISPR Moves Us Closer To Curing HIV
Recently a team of Chinese researchers published a paper which mentions their detail work in adapting CRISPR for use as an HIV cure and the results are pretty stunning.
What are CRISPR and its application?
CRISPR is a genetic scalpel that enables us to precisely cut and moves DNA as we would like to. It is a powerful tool for editing genomes where researchers can alter DNA sequences and modify gene function. It is used to correct genetic defects, treating and preventing the spread of diseases and improving crops.
Over the years HIV has proved to be a challenge for researchers as it mucks with our DNA. Most of the people infected with HIV have no cure and normally it many cases results in death.
Recent developments in science have made it possible to use CRISPR to cut out HIV DNA and curb future infection.
The preliminary tests were run on mice having humanised tissues infect with the virus. Later specialised counter virus called AAV was injected in them which helps them deliver the modified genes as well as some additional molecules that protect the cell from subsequent infection.
Results proved that they were able to dramatically reduce and in some cases eliminate HIV in solid organs like the bone marrow and liver.
Though it is premature to say that cure for HIV is found but the pace at with research work related to CRISPR is going on, we may soon see gigantic leaps over the next few years. Slowly but surely with progress in CRISPR research, we are finally within striking distance of finding a cure for HIV after decades.