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+ - Italian team cures Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome with the help of the HIV virus

Submitted by tchernobog
tchernobog (752560) writes "An Italian team funded by Telethon and S. Raffaele of Milan, was able to cure six kids affected by lethal genetic diseases (in Italian, English video): the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome and the metachromatic leukodystrophy. This is the culmination of a project lasted 15 years, and which cost more than 30M €; the researchers have published some preliminary results last year on Nature, and are waiting for the results on more patients to submit another.

The really interesting part is, they used a mix of advanced genic techniques to achieve this result. Firstly, the DNA of a defective cell is corrected with a gene first assembled in the lab. This procedure has always been very dangerous for the past 20 years: the fact that it can be used is a good achievement alone. Secondly, the corrected DNA is propagated in the patient body using a stripped-down version of the HIV virus, of which less than 10% of its original genome remains.

Might the feared HIV virus in reality prove to be salvation for some?"
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Italian team cures Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome with the help of the HIV virus

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