AT EurekAlert, the online news service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), we read Making the blind see: Gene therapy restores vision in mice. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
Take a look at this: Scientists from Buffalo, Cleveland, and Oklahoma City made a huge step toward making the blind see, and they did it by using a form of gene therapy that does not involve the use of modified viruses. In a research report published in the April 2010 print issue of The FASEB Journal, scientists describe how they used a non-viral, synthetic nanoparticle carrier to improve and save the sight of mice with retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited disease characterized by progressive vision loss and eventual blindness.
Here’s a link to the abstract: Gene delivery to mitotic and postmitotic photoreceptors via compacted DNA nanoparticles results in improved phenotype in a mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa. Let’s read more from EurekAlert:
“We hope the results of our study will be instrumental in generating a cure for the debilitating blindness associated with retinitis pigmentosa and other inherited and acquired retinal diseases,” said Muna I. Naash, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Cell Biology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City. “Compacted DNA nanoparticles are an exciting treatment strategy for these diseases and we look forward to exciting new developments.”
“Making the blind see was once called a miracle,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. “As we have expanded our understanding of evolution, genetics, and nanotechnology, chances are that “miraculous” cures will become as commonplace as those claimed by faith-healers past and present.”
Overheard by one of our secret microphones in Seattle: “Evolution? Oh no!”
Here’s the last paragraph from EurekAlert:
According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Rare Diseases Research, retinitis pigmentosa is a group of inherited eye diseases that affect the retina. Retinitis pigmentosa causes cells in the retina to die prematurely, eventually leading to vision loss. There is no cure.
The NIH will update its information soon enough, but a certain “think tank” in Seattle never will.
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