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OAKLAND, Calif. — Scientists for the first time have tried editing a gene inside the body in a bold attempt to permanently change a person’s DNA to try to cure a disease.

The experiment was done Monday in California on 44-year-old Brian Madeux. Through an IV, he received billions of copies of a corrective gene and a genetic tool to cut his DNA in a precise spot.

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  • I’m 90 years old and have heard objections to almost all new inventions or breakthroughs in medical science- from electrification of houses (my parents laid in electrical lines the year after my birth) to the polio vaccine. I recently read about the first natural experiments to vaccinate against small pox by using discharge from cow pox vesicles in the 18th century. It raised a furor among many religious leaders as it did when Benjamin Franklin invented the “lightning rod.” Many preachers railed against the use of the roof rod to prevent houses from being struck by lightning and burning down. The objectio ? – It was God’s will (and judgment against the owner) if a house was hit by lightning! Hopefully, this new genetic therapy will be met with a reasoned response from the public and religious groups, rather than the furor raised in prior centuries with any innovation. There are always risks with a new therapy, but many people with lethal genetic diseases who will succumb without these treatments are willing to be part of the human endeavor to move medical science forward.

  • As usual a lot of overhyping for what should be called more correctly “in vivo liver” gene therapy. Truly transforming gene therapy correcting defective genes in large part/whole body and/or multiple organs is still way off. Right now, it is kind of aiming for the low hanging fruit of gene therapy. And the jury is still out about it working (probably) with no downsides (maybe).

    Anyway, low hanging fruit or not, let’s just hope everything goes well.

  • Now would placement of the gene and repeats cause the formation of something new. The body making an enzyme it shouldn’t because it reads the gene differently? We would need to have a test that can measure all new things and different things. Make sure it can’t be read as something else. Creating an invisible enemy.

  • Madeux, I hope this procedure works for you. I have several autoimmune diseases that compromise my life every single day. I know how difficult it is. I wish you health and happiness.

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