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CRISPR Gene Therapy via Skin Grafts Treats Obesity and Diabetes in Mice

08:53 EDT 3 Aug 2017 | Genetic Engineering News

Genetically engineered skin cells grafted onto mice can treat the animals’ diabetes and obesity, according to new research published August 2, 2017 in Cell Stem Cell . Researchers edited skin stem cells from newborn mice using CRISPR -based technology so that the cells secreted a peptide that regulates blood sugar. Transplanting the cells onto mice showed the grafts increased insulin secretion and reversed weight gain from a high-fat diet, as well as overturned insulin resistance. The result is a small step toward developing a safe and durable gene therapy to treat diabetes in humans. “We’ve had this idea for a long time, so it’s exciting to see that, indeed, it can work to deliver therapeutics,” coauthor Xiaoyang Wu , a stem cell biologist at the University of Chicago, tells GEN . In the study, Wu and colleagues worked with skin because it is a large ...

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