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CRISPR gene editing, can be used in humans for the first time in the treatment for blindness

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It is the first study to test the gene-editing technology CRISPR is in the human body and is about to get underway in the United States, according to news reports.

The study plans to use CRISPR to treat a hereditary eye disorder that causes vision loss, according to the Associated Press.

People with this disorder have a mutation in a gene that affects the function of the retina, the light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye, which is essential for normal vision. The requirement is for a form of Leber congenital amaurosis, which is one of the most common causes of childhood vision loss that affects about 2 to 3 babies of every 100,000, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The treatment is to correct the mutation using CRISPR, a tool that allows researchers to precisely edit DNA in a specific place, the AP reported.

More From LiveScience

  • The Associated Press
  • Leber congenital amaurosis
  • The national Institutes of Health
  • CRISPR

The researchers will use an injection to deliver treatment directly to the light-sensitive cells, according to a statement released by Editas Medicine, a company that is conducting the research jointly with Allergan.

The researchers will use an injection to deliver treatment directly to the light-sensitive cells, according to a statement released by Editas Medicine, a company that is conducting the research jointly with Allergan.

The trial will enroll a total of 18 patients, children (age 3 and older) and adults.

The new study is different from the controversial research of a Chinese scientist, who used CRISPR to edit the human genome from two of the babies from last year. In the case of a Chinese scientist has modified the DNA of the embryo, and the gene changes can be passed on to the next generation, the AP reported. In the new study, the DNA operations are done in children and in adults, may not be passed on to their descendants, the AP said.

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Originally published on Live Science.

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