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May 21, 2016 09:04 AM EDT

HIV Cure: Scientists Use Editing Technology to Cut HIV DNA

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HIV cure developed by Temple University scientists find that cutting HIV DNA might eradicate the virus.

HIV cure is something that scientists have been working on for years and this new finding is one step closer to curing the disease. Temple University scientists experimented a new way to eradicate HIV virus by cutting a segment of HIV DNA in a living animal. The tried-and-tested experiment uses gene-editing technology from animal organ.

 The current HIV medication revolves around anti-retroviral drugs that suppress the infection spread. However, the drug has limitation, and it cannot eliminate the HIV-1 that can develop to AIDS, Science Daily reported.

The researchers injected HIV DNA to rats. The gene-editing system, using ex vivo experiment, resulted in a significant decrease of the infected cells. Thus, the research goal is to find whether the cutting-edge technology will eliminate HIV-1. According to Independent, the strategy was able to eradicate HIV-1 contained in the animal's vital organs such as kidney, lungs, and brain.

Dr. Kamel Khalili, lead author of the study, suggests the gene-editing technology can be used to study the disease. If the virus responsible for AIDS can be removed from animal genomes, then it could be applied to the illness in humans'.

It may be combined with antiretroviral drugs or it can also lead to a treatment for HIV infected patients in the future. The professor describes this gene-editing as highly flexible and a critical step towards HIV cure development.

Before this experiment, HIV cure injection has also been developed by researchers at Oxford University and College London University after testing it to a patient with bone marrow cancer, University Herald reported. The study is published in Gene Therapy and Dr. Khalili is optimist that the new finding can be applied to clinical trial within the next few years.

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