HIV May Not Be Stopped By Gene Editing
Gareth Andrews / 4 years ago
We are often taught that in order to solve a problem we break it down to its simplest parts and then deal with each part on its own. Some scientists have taken this to heart and begun looking at gene editing techniques to stop HIV, something that may not be stopped by gene editing after all.
If you removed the qualities and characteristics that make HIV bad, you’d be left with a harmless virus. Using CRISPR, a technique that allows you to cut up DNA and has been used to modify countless other types of cells, a group tried to pursue this course of action only to discover that the results were less than appealing.
As a result of the CRISPR, the cells not only survived but began to mutate, with the host cells actually helping repair the cuts to the DNA by inserting DNA bases, creating a mutated version that even an immune system wouldn’t detect. These actions could lead to a mixed technique, with anti-HIV drugs being deployed alongside a series of cuts (more is better in this case), to help slow down and understand the HIV virus, maybe even leading to a cure in the future.
As with all things science is making steps one foot at a time and with the knowledge from their past actions, even the smallest setback in developing a cure could be what finally helps create a cure for the HIV virus.