CRISPR Gene- Editing Tool Used to Restore Vision


In California, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Shiley Eye Institute at UC San Diego Health, with colleagues in China, used the gene-editing tool, CRISPR, to reprogram mutated rod photoreceptors and restoring vision in two mouse models. Retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited vision disorder resulting from genetic mutation in more than 60 genes making it difficult for night vision, peripheral vision, color discernment and central vision. It affects about 1 in 4,000 people globally with the eventual result possibly becoming legal blindness and there is no current treatment for it. The ability of researchers to shut off or deactivate certain gene “switches” allowed them to modify select genes to restore vision. They hope to perform clinical trials on humans soon since there is no other treatment or cure for retinitis pigmentosa currently.