Jefferson Scientists Use Gene Repair Technique To Change Albino Mice Cells To Black

y and immunology at Jefferson Medical College and a member of Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center, developed the gene-fixing technique several years ago. Scientists can synthesize a small oligonucleotide--DNA interspersed with small amounts of RNA--that has the capability to find and attach itself to a certain part of a gene. The small genetic vehicle is designed to trigger the cell's normal DNA repair system into action as well. The repair mechanism scans the DNA looking for any mismatches or two strands of DNA that don't seem in sync. When it finds a mismatch, it replaces one of the chemical bases with one that fits better. The scientists, then, can use this natural repair system to correct a bad mutation.

The gene-repair technique is far from perfected, Dr. Yoon says. "Much more research is needed to improve the design and make this technology generally applicable. Skin is an ideal organ on which to test this technology since it is accessible and can be monitored."


Contact: Steve Benowitz
Thomas Jefferson University

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