New CRISPR Method Takes on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy | DuchenneXchange

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New CRISPR Method Takes on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

The advance of CRISPR gene editing technology, which uses an RNA strand to guide an enzyme called Cas9 to cut a specific portion of DNA, has raised concerns and sparked debate as people envision a not-so-distant future populated by bioengineered super-crops, genetically flawless pets, and customized babies. While the method could be used for these purposes, it’s also showing potential as a valuable medical tool, with a seemingly new condition added each week to the list of what CRISPR may one day cure.

One recent addition to that list is Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). In a study from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, researchers used CRISPR to make a single cut at a few strategic points along DNA in cells derived from DMD patients, with the result of potentially correcting most of the 3,000 gene mutations that cause DMD.