researchers have used an experimental therapy in mice to shut down a gene that plays a crucial role in a leading cause of inherited blindness.
The technique, detailed in an upcoming issue of Vision Research, involves injecting the eye with a bit of genetic material called interfering RNA, which helps disable the gene.
Normally the gene is essential for healthy eyesight, but mutated versions of it are passed from generation to generation in some families and can lead to blindness.
Disabling the gene is a step toward developing a gene therapy to treat people with retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited disease that attacks the light-sensing cells in the eye. It affects about one in 60,000 people, with an estimated 1.5 million people afflicted worldwide.
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