Delivery of health-promoting genes into cells of the body holds enormous promise for preventing and treating diseases. However, the vehicles for those genes in current approaches to gene therapy are generally viruses or synthetic materials, including polymers. The former can elicit harmful immune responses, and the latter can be toxic (SN: 1/18/03, p. 43: Delivering the Goods). Now, biomedical engineers have devised a technique that uses metallic nanorods as gene carriers, which the researchers say could avoid those risks.
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