Novel Gene Therapy Delivery Method

The New Scientist reports on a novel method of targeting gene therapy to a particular location. In this case the aim is to treat diabetes: "The team injected microscopic spherical shells into rodents, and using a directed ultrasonic pulse they caused the bubbles to break and release their genetic contents in the target organ. ... cells producing important proteins - such as insulin - lie inside remote structures in the pancreas organ, which itself sits beneath the stomach. It is difficult for foreign particles – such as gene-therapy viruses – to get there from the blood. Without a more sophisticated and targeted approach, cells throughout the body might pick up the gene and begin producing insulin. Since only pancreatic cells are fine-tuned to release insulin in response to food, other cells would over-produce the protein with no regard to food intake."

Link: http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn9174&print=true

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