HIV genes can successfully be removed from cells, scientists find. Many hurdles to overcome before human trials can start.
Scientists have demonstrated the potential of CRISPR-Cas9 technology to remove the HIV genome from the DNA of infected cells. They have also identified some of the consequences of doing so and begun to investigate how these side-effects may be mitigated.
In one study, Dr Michele Lai and colleagues at the University of Pisa demonstrated the capacity of CRISPR-Cas9 to remove HIV genetic material from infected cells but also investigated whether the excised sections of DNA may reintegrate and start replicating again.
In another, Dr Jonathan Herskovitz and team at the University of Nebraska showed that when CRISPR-Cas9 is manipulated to target multiple sites at two of HIV’s most important genes, viral replication in infected cells almost completely stopped – with no immediately obvious damage to cellular DNA.
It's always good to end the year with good news, and you can read the full article here.