Stories

CRISPR used to treat first U.S. patient with genetic disorder

A researcher performs a CRISPR/Cas9 process
Photo: Gregor Fischer/picture alliance/Getty Images

Doctors are using CRISPR to treat a woman with sickle cell disease, the first U.S. patient with a genetic disorder to receive such treatment, NPR reports.

The big picture: Advances in gene editing technology have given new hope to people with diseases that not long ago seemed untreatable.

  • But these new therapies are still experimental, and the technologies also carry the potential to be dangerously misused.

Details: The woman received infusions of genetically modified bone marrow cells, which will hopefully give her healthy red blood cells.

  • The companies sponsoring the study said earlier this year that they'd used CRISPR to treat a similar blood disorder in Germany, and there's been some evidence that the treatment may be working.
  • Doctors are also experimenting with treating cancer patients with CRISPR.

Go deeper: Genetic technology's double-edged sword