Medical Breakthrough: First gene-editing in human

Chromosomes on blue background, scientific concept 3d illustration

Brian Madeux, 44, from Arizona, USA has been dealing with Hunter syndrome his entire life. He never expected to live past his early 20s and although he has surpassed his life expectancy, he experiences pain every second of the day.

A team of pioneering doctors in California proposed that Brian partake in an experimental trial that could change medical history forever. Brian was recently infused with the first gene-editing therapy directly in his bloodstream at Oakland's UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital. The Mayo Clinic classifies Hunter syndrome as “a very rare, inherited genetic disorder caused by a missing or malfunctioning enzyme. Because the body doesn't have enough of the enzyme to break down certain complex molecules, the molecules build up in harmful amounts. In Hunter syndrome, the buildup of massive amounts of these harmful substances eventually causes permanent, progressive damage affecting appearance, Read more

Tick saliva could help keep hearts healthier in people with HIV

HIV Blood Testing

HIV research and treatments have evolved leaps and bounds in the past decades but researchers continue to dedicate time and resources to helping increase both quality of life and life expectancy for those who contract the virus. Researchers have recently developed an experimental drug derived from deer tick salvia that could significantly decrease inflammation and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Individuals with HIV develop a higher risk of both neurological and cardiovascular medical issues because the immunodeficiency virus causes higher levels of monocytes, a type of white blood cell. These cells directly influence the “tissue factor” (TF) protein, which triggers blood clotting and dangerous inflammation – even when an individual is controlling their HIV virus rigorously by antiretrovirals. The scientists have developed an experimental drug called Ixolaris which contains extracts from saliva of a type of ticks found on deer. It was first tested on monkeys who had been infected with SIV, the primate equivalent of human HIV virus. They discovered Read more

Parkinson’s Research Advancing in Japan

Parkinson’s disease research

An innovative team of Japanese scientists have been leading a trial in monkeys aimed at restoring their damaged nerve cells. The cells are damaged in a similar way to that caused to human cells that are exposed to Parkinson’s disease.

When Parkinson’s disease onsets; a progressive loss of the nerve cells that are responsible for releasing dopamine will occur. Dopamine is vital as it helps human’s control their body movements. The group of researchers select macaque monkeys to conduct the experiment. It began with triggering a nerve cell loss mimicking that that occurs in a human body with Parkinson’s disease. They then used human stem cells to try and trigger the replacement of the cells lost in the macaque monkeys’ bodies. The monkeys had precursor dopamine neurons derived from human stem cells transplanted into their brains and after two years, showed a Read more