Doctors Perform Breakthrough Gene Therapy on 13-Year-Old Boy

Last week, a 13-year-old boy from New Jersey, US was at the centre of medical history as he became the first person in the US to receive an FDA-approved gene therapy for an inherited disease. The event marks the beginning of a new era of medicine, one in which devastating genetic conditions that we are born with can be simply edited out of our DNA with the help of modern biomedical technologies. Read More >>

CEO Who Tested DIY Herpes Treatment Locks Himself in Lab as Fellow Biohackers Abandon Him

Aaron Traywick, the theatrical CEO of a regulation-averse biotech company called Ascendance Biomedical who recently injected himself with an untested herpes treatment on stage at a conference in Texas, is now at the centre of some major drama in the biohacking community. Read More >>

China Has Already Gene-Edited 86 People With CRISPR

While the US's first planned clinical trials of CRISPR gene editing in people are about to kick off. China has been racing ahead, having already used the gene-altering tool to change the DNA of dozens of people in several clinical trials. Read More >>

Should People Be Banned From Genetically Engineering Themselves?

In the past few months, the possibility of do-it-yourself genetic engineering has exited the realm of the purely hypothetical. At a conference last autumn, a well-known biohacker injected himself with a gene to promote muscle growth. Not long after, a 27-year-old software engineer injected himself with an unproven gene therapy for HIV while streaming on Facebook. More DIY attempts at human genetic modification are sure to follow. Read More >>

Biotech Stocks Drop After Troubling CRISPR Study, but Gene Editing Is Still the Future

On Monday, the world of science awoke to news that suddenly cast uncomfortable doubt on many of the past five years’ major breakthroughs: A new paper had identified a possible barrier to using the revolutionary gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 in humans. The news incited a temporary hysteria that sent the stocks of all three major CRISPR biotech firms tumbling in premarket trading, declining by as much as 11.9 per cent. Read More >>

Could Gene Therapy One Day Cure Diabetes?

In type 1 diabetes, the body engages in warfare with itself, the immune system mistakenly treating the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas as a harmful invader, destroying the cells along with the body’s ability to regulate sugar. Typically diagnosed in youth, it has no cure, and patients face a lifetime of insulin injections and complications. Read More >>

Why Has Science Only Cured One Person of HIV?

In 2007, a young American man living in Berlin became a marvel of modern medicine when, 12 years after he was diagnosed with HIV, the virus suddenly disappeared from his body. Timothy Ray Brown had been diagnosed with leukemia and received a stem cell transplant treat it. His stem cell donor, it turned out, had a rare genetic mutation known as CCR5-delta 32 that gave Brown resistance to HIV infection. Brown became known as “the Berlin patient.” Ten years later, he is still the only person to have ever been cured of HIV. Read More >>

The Most Life-Changing Breakthroughs in Genetics of 2017

It was a big year for the building blocks of life. Here are the most significant breakthroughs in genetics research of 2017. Read More >>

Alarmed By Recent Events, Scientists Speak Out Against DIY Gene Therapy

It seems hard to fathom that scientific progress has advanced to a point where it’s suddenly possible for people to undertake something as complicated as gene therapy outside the safety and confines of a well-funded lab, but it has. In just the past few months we’ve seen not one, but two examples of people pursuing unregulated gene therapy. That’s right, people are genetically modifying their bodies in DIY labs and friends’ flats. Read More >>

‘Major Biomedical Triumph’ as Scientists Restore Seven-Year-Old Boy’s Skin

Junctional epidermolysis bullosa is the sort of rare disease you are probably lucky to have never heard of. An often lethal genetic condition, from infancy it plagues its victim with painful blisters all over the body that causes the skin to become extremely fragile. Read More >>

The FDA Just Approved Another Promising Immunotherapy For Cancer

On Wednesday—for only the second time—the American Food and Drug Administration approved a cutting-edge therapy that genetically modifies a patient’s blood cells in order to attack cancer. This time the therapy, known as CAR T-cell therapy, is designed to treat aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Read More >>

Will Sickle Cell Be the Next Disease Genetic Engineering Cures?

Sickle cell disease is a slow, vicious killer. Most people diagnosed with the red blood cell disorder in the US live to be between 40 and 60. But those years are a lifetime of pain, as abnormal, crescent-shaped haemoglobin stops up blood flow and deprives tissues of oxygen, causing frequent bouts of agony, along with more severe consequences like organ damage. Now, after decades of searching for a cure, researchers are announcing that, in at least one patient, they seem to have found a very promising treatment. Read More >>

Biotech Firm Halts ‘Revolutionary’ Cancer Treatment After Patient Deaths

Following the deaths of five patients, Juno Therapeutics has decided to pull the plug on an experimental cancer treatment that boosts the power of a patient’s immune cells. The news comes just days after the company’s rival, Kite Pharma, announced its success with a similar method, showing there’s still hope for this potentially revolutionary gene therapy. Read More >>

Shooting Lasers at Frogs Brings Us Closer to Curing Cancer

A team of scientists has hacked a light-responsive protein into tadpoles, and used it as an on-off switch to suppress tumour growth. It’s a fascinating development that could one day lead to new tools for fighting cancer in humans. Read More >>