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Q&A: Gene therapy turnaround

Judging by the stream of studies in the last few months, it seems the field of gene therapy is beginning to replace its troubled history with the beginnings of a promising future. Mark Kay Image: Stanford University In September, linkurl:researchers reported;http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090916/full/news.2009.921.html that viral delivery of a pigment gene allowed colorblind squirrel monkeys to see red and green for the first time, providing hopes that the technique could be used to treat colo

Victoria Stern
Judging by the stream of studies in the last few months, it seems the field of gene therapy is beginning to replace its troubled history with the beginnings of a promising future.
Mark Kay
Image: Stanford University
In September, linkurl:researchers reported;http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090916/full/news.2009.921.html that viral delivery of a pigment gene allowed colorblind squirrel monkeys to see red and green for the first time, providing hopes that the technique could be used to treat colorblindness in humans. In October, linkurl:transplant scientists showed;http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/326/5954/818?sa_campaign=Email/toc/6-November-2009/10.1126/science.1171242 they could bolster the health of donor lungs by supplying a gene coding for an anti-inflammatory molecule. Earlier this month came a report in which gene therapy was used to halt the progression of adrenoleukodystrophy, a fatal brain disease, in two young boys using a virus derived from HIV to deliver the gene for the missing enzyme. Finally, linkurl:a study published today (November 11) in Science Translational Medicine;http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/1/6/6ra15.abstract reports that administering...
The ScientistThe ScientistMark KayTSMKTSMKTSMKTSMKTSMKEditor's note (November 12): This post originally referred to the American Society of Gene Therapy. That organization changed its name to the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy in May, 2009.The post has been updated with the current name.



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