Gene editing reverses liver disorder in mice

Replacing damaged DNA with the correct sequence has reversed liver disorder in mice.

Caroline Davis2010/FLICKR (Attribution 2.0 Generic)

By using bacterial proteins to edit genes in mice, scientists have reversed a rare liver disorder in the animal.

The disorder, called type I tyrosinemia, affects about one in 100,000 people and is caused by a single genetic mutation. In the study, scientists used a technique called CRISPR to remove the mutated DNA and insert the correct gene into some of the mice’s liver cells. The healthy cells reproduced and replaced the diseased cells, allowing the mice to survive without medication, the researchers report March 30 in Nature Biotechnology

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Ashley Yeager is the associate news editor at Science News. She has worked at The Scientist, the Simons Foundation, Duke University and the W.M. Keck Observatory, and was the web producer for Science News from 2013 to 2015. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a master’s degree in science writing from MIT.

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