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Gene Editing with CRISPR Can Repair Heart Attack Damage

Heart disease is the culprit linked to roughly a third of all deaths around the world.

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According to a recent Genetic Literacy Project article, researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have developed a new CRISPR gene editing therapy that could help treat heart disease and repair damaged tissue immediately after a heart attack. The team used a mouse model to study their new CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing therapy, with the components of the gene editing system packaged into a viral delivery system that targets the hearts of mice and large mammals. 

The team found that subduing a specific gene in mice helped protect them from ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) due to heart disease, and injecting mice with gene editing reagents soon after an IRI helped them recover cardiac function after severe damage such as a heart attack. The discovery could likely inform how both heart disease and heart attacks are treated in the future.

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