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‘Genome surgery is coming’


The CRISPR gene editing tool has been successfully used by a team from Columbia University to ‘restore retinal function’ in mice with a degenerative disease.

Called retinitis pigmentosa, the Columbia team has pioneered a technique using CRISPR to combat the ‘inherited disease’.


“Genome surgery is coming. Ophthalmology will be the first to see genome surgery before the rest of medicine,” said Dr Stephen Tsang.


The study follows a recent discovery made through a collaboration between Tel Aviv University and Sweden’s Linköping University, that an organic pigment used in tattoo ink and cosmetics can be used to create a prosthetic that could enable blind people to see again.

While last year researchers in America were developing a gene therapy that could treat blindness in people with ‘inherited retinal diseases’.

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