Imagine a world where debilitating genetic diseases like Huntington’s and Cystic fibrosis can be cured. Thanks to CRISPR – a technology that can be used to edit genes- this is possible, and we may be able to eliminate genetic diseases in the future.
CRISPR Cas-9 (an abbreviation standing for “Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats”) is a gene-splicing technology capable of finding and removing mutated sections of DNA. Once this material is eliminated, CRISPR technology can replace the mutated sections with non-mutated variants.
To put simply: Scientists use CRISPR to find a specific bit of DNA inside a cell and and they then alter that piece of DNA using gene editing tools.
Scientists consider CRISPR to be a game-changer mainly because CRISPR is easy to use, especially compared with older gene-editing tools.
CRISPR technology also has the potential to transform medicine, enabling us to not only treat but also prevent many diseases. We may even decide to use it to change the genomes of our children. An attempt to do this in China has been condemned as premature and unethical, but some think it could benefit children in the future.
CRISPR can be used to turn genes on or off without altering their sequence. As a result, CRISPR has the power to permanently eliminate certain types of genetic diseases from blood lines.
Despite all the excitement, scientists have been proceeding cautiously, feeling out the tool’s strengths and pitfalls, setting best practices, and debating the social and ethical consequences of gene editing in humans.
There are still a lot of questions about all the ways that CRISPR might be put to use in cancer research and treatment. But one thing is for certain: The field is moving incredibly fast and new applications of the technology are constantly popping up.
Source: What Is CRISPR?
Regenerative medicine is a developing, innovative field of medicine in which scientists are researching on methods to regrow, repair or replace damaged or diseased cells, organs or tissues. The goal of regenerative medicine is to replace or reboot tissues or organs damaged because of disease, injury, age, or other issues instead of treating symptoms with medication and procedures. Regenerative medicine is focused on developing and applying new treatments to heal tissues and organs and restore function lost due to aging, disease, damage or defects.
Regenerative medicine is known for helping patients heal faster than treatment with conventional methods. Stem cells and platelet-rich plasma work quickly to repair injured joints and tissue, enhancing the body’s own ability to heal after an injury.
The human body has the natural ability to heal itself in many ways. This is now possible: doctors scrape cells off the body part in question and grow them in a petri dish. In time, the body part grows strong enough that it can be implanted inside the patient.
Organovo, has developed a printer capable of 3D printing body parts. In time, this new technology will become increasingly mainstream, providing patients with lifesaving organ replacements.