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This potential treatment would involve permanently altering the DNA inside some of the cells of a person’s body, so doctors will have to be sure it is safe before trying it in people. But the benefits could be enormous. In theory, it could help millions live longer and healthier lives.

The results of the animal study were described by Lorenz Mayr, of pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, at a genomics meeting in London on 1 February. Mayr, who leads the company’s research into a DNA editing technique called CRISPR, wouldn’t say whether AstraZeneca plans to pursue this approach, but he was clearly excited as he presented the findings.

“The idea would be to do it as a one-off,” he later told New Scientist. “It should be permanent.”

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Image: By Nephron – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17865608

 

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New Scientist

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