Punch - Counterpunch: HIV Can Avoid CRISPR/Cas9 Editing
A few weeks ago we reported that by using CRISPR/Cas9 editing, researchers were able to remove HIV from stem cells. Unfortunately, a new study reveals that HIV is able to quickly adapt to this type of gene-editing attack by mutating, allowing it to evade destruction. For this new study, instead of giving T cells immunity to viral infection, the team actually engineered the with a CRISPR/Cas9 system that would to seek and destroy HIV pathogens. Two weeks after equipping the cells with the CRISPR/Cas9 system, it was discovered that the virus had produced mutations near the editing site that prevented Cas9 from removing the virus. This does not eliminate the possibility of utilizing CRISPR/Cas9 as treatment tool, but does reconfirm that we are up against a 'wily' opponent.
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