Imma just let this sit here
MOTHA FUCKIN SCIENCE
They turned RNA into an anti-virus program. That is amazing.
Let me restate this in case it didn’t sink in the first time
Researchers physically DELETED ALL TRACES of the HIV virus from a human cell.
ALL OF IT.
IF YOU ARE NOT EXCITED ABOUT THAT I DON’T THINK YOU KNOW WHAT HIV IS
Here’s the link to the journal article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Yes, I know you need a subscription to access PNAS articles, but if you don’t have a university library to look it up in you can at least see the abstract. I really like linking back to the actual scientific paper because what the specific research for a project says is important in science reporting.
From the Discussion:
The Cas9/gRNA technology platform is facile, versatile and improving rapidly, and clinical application is anticipated, particularly in the fields of virus infection, genetic diseases, and cancer. Here, we found that LTR-directed gRNA/Cas9 eradicates the HIV-1 genome and effectively immunizes target cells against HIV-1 reactivation and infection with high specificity and efficiency. These properties may provide a viable path toward a permanent or “sterile” HIV-1 cure, and perhaps provide a means to eradicate and vaccinate against other pathogenic viruses. In the current study, we have mainly focused our efforts on myeloid lineage cells (microglia/macrophage), which are the primary cell types that harbor HIV-1 in the brain. However, this proof of concept is certainly applicable to any other cell type, including T-lymphoid cells, astrocytes, and neural stem cells.
They’ve been successful with a model for one type of cell that can be infected with HIV, so to continue the research, other types of cells need to be tested. They need to see if HIV can be removed from those at a high rate of success with little damage to anything that’s not HIV. They also would need to look at different types of HIV since it has various mutations. They are still not close to anything like a clinical trial, but this is still pretty awesome!