American scientists discover DNA editing enzyme which deletes HIV-1 DNA from human cells.
A team of scientists at the Temple University School of Medicine in America have recorded a major breakthrough in the work towards finding a cure for AIDS through the discovery of a new DNA enzyme called Cas9 which cuts out the HIV-1 virus.
After completely deleting the HIV-1 DNA from cells, “the cell’s gene repair machinery then takes over, soldering the loose ends of the genome back together – resulting in a virus-free cell,” Dailymail reported.
“This is one important step on the path toward a permanent cure for AIDS,” Kamel Khalili, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Neuroscience at Temple was quoted saying.
The scientists have said the breakthrough could be a cure for other infections, although we are unlikely to see the new discovery in our clinics and pharmacies any time soon.
The discovery is not without its sticking points. There are ethical concerns around genetic engineering and “dispute over who can rightfully claim inventorship,” reports suggest.
According to the World Health Organization, about 35 million people across the world are living with HIV, including more than 24 million in Africa.