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‘Natural’ Gene Mutation May Offer Way of Treating Sickle Cell Disease, Study Says

Introducing a “natural” genetic mutation into the blood cells of people with sickle cell and like diseases, using CRISPR gene editing, was seen to restore the production of fetal hemoglobin and offer a way to treat these disorders, researchers report.

Their study was published in the journal Blood, in an article titled “KLF1 drives the expression of fetal hemoglobin in British HPFH.”

Sickle cell disease (SCD) patients have a genetic defect that leads them to produce hemoglobin S, or sickle hemoglobin, instead of normal hemoglobin. This impairs the ability of red blood cells to bind to oxygen molecules in the lungs, and consequently to deliver oxygen to tissues throughout the body.