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New Gene Therapy Method Could End Incurable Diseases

Niemann pick cell in spleen.W.CC/Wikimedia

The scientific community has been trying cure diseases for a long time and for the most part, it has been successful. Previously devastating epidemics have been largely wiped out or contained such as smallpox, and others have been kept at bay thanks to vaccination. However, there are still a number of diseases that are considered incurable, including certain congenital diseases and at this point, AIDS. Thanks to a new gene therapy method, however, curing the incurable might finally be possible.

The discovery was made by researchers at Stanford University where technicians from the Laboratory for Cell and Gene Medicine are capable of creating cells that possess properties that can theoretically combat every disease known to man, MedicalXpress reports. By genetically engineering raw materials, the scientists are able to do things like boosting the immune system, destroy cancer cells directly, and even speed up the recovery rate of burn victims treated with skin grafts.

The sole existence of the facility, which covers an area of 25,000 square feet, is to do work in the field of regenerative medicine. This is where scientists focus on self-healing, reinvigoration, and even age reversal by simply boosting the body’s own ability to repair itself. As David DiGiusto, the facility’s director put it, their work amounts to curing the incurable.

Although widespread diseases like congenital defects, type-1 diabetes, and even those suffering from hormonal imbalances would likely be addressed by this new gene therapy method, the ones who would likely benefit the most from the discovery are patients with extremely rare illnesses. This includes patients who are suffering from the disease called Epidermolysis Bullosa, which is a horrible skin condition that affects only 1 in 50,000 patients, University Herald reports.

Such cases are often difficult to treat because there is very little data on them and very few scientists are working on curing them. With a practically universal solution like the one that the Stanford researchers are working on, a more immediate treatment is possible.

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