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Step toward gene therapy for sickle cell disease


A team of researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine has used a gene-editing tool known as CRISPR to repair the gene that causes sickle cell disease in human stem cells, which they say is a key step toward developing a gene therapy for the disorder.

The team went on to demonstrate that the mended cells could make a functioning hemoglobin molecule, which carries oxygen in normal red blood cells, and then successfully transplanted the stem cells into mice. The researchers say the study represents a proof of concept for the repair of blood-borne genetic diseases, such as sickle cell disease and thalassemia.

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