December 17, 2012

"Virus rebuilds heart's own pacemaker in animal tests."

"They used a virus to infect heart muscle cells with a gene, called Tbx18, which is normally active when pacemaker cells are formed during normal development in an embryo."

7 comments:

wyo sis said...

As Instapundit would say, "faster please".

Chuck Currie said...

Using viruses to insert DNA has great potential and is become more common.

Without viruses and bacteria, we would not be here - pretty much nothing would.

Interesting bacteria/virus fact I read somewhere: The oceans are oceans of bacteria - trillions upon trillions of them - viruses kill off 1/3 to 1/2 of the all the bacteria in the ocean every day. This creates tons of carbon, and no one is positively sure where it all goes - into the atmosphere, or sinks to the bottom?

Bacteria and viruses are truly the most interesting organisms on earth. They were here before us, and they will be here after us, busily creating the next iteration of life on earth.

Cheers

edutcher said...

This is the innovation ObamaTax will kill off.

Ann Althouse said...

"As Instapundit would say, "faster please"."

As Althouse would say, please be careful handling viruses.

Methadras said...

What is the job of a virus? To try and recombine as much DNA of itself as possible. This is just using that mechanism to do something for out benefit. If it works, keep doing it...

Calypso Facto said...

Or as fibrillation patients would say, "Slower, please!" Hope this'll eventually help.

Crimso said...

A number of diseases are likely to be treated (and many cured) by future gene therapies involving viruses. For technical reasons, the use of "crippled" viruses to deliver genes is one of the most attractive ways to replace defective or missing genes. But Althouse is right: unforeseen effects from virally-based therapies are a minefield. If you can be sure that the virus will only integrate at a specific genomic site, you lessen the risk that it will result in a cancer. A number of other problems can also arise from the viral therapies (more acute than the cancer risk), but it is still a worthwhile direction for potential therapies, especially in cases of fatal disorders.