People with inherited blindness mostly have healthy eyes but require a gene that converts light into signals to the brain so that it can interpret and enable sight.
The objective experimental treatment aims to supply kids and adults with a healthy version of the gene they lack, utilizing a tool that cuts or "edits" DNA in specific places. It would be a one-time treatment providing a permanent solution to the problem.
This fall, Editas Medicine and Allergan, the two companies will test this technique in up to 18 people around the United States, including Massachusetts Eye and Ear in Boston, starting .
This gene editing in people after birth is very different from the controversial work a Chinese scientist did last year which was changing the DNA of embryos at the time conception in such a way that they can pass on the changes to future generations,but this technique aims not to affect the progeny in any way genetically.
Sangamo Therapeutics is the company which has tried to treat metabolic diseases by gene editing inside the body, using a tool called zinc fingers.
Potential and risks with CRISPR
Scientists have found CRISPR to be very promising because it's a very simple way to do gene editing. Hence, researchers believe that it has great potential to cure or treat many diseases caused by gene flaws. However, it's so new that its risks are not fully known.