Oct 11, 2019

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

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals

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

Go deeper

Remembering George Floyd

Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

With politicians, clergy and law enforcement in attendance on Thursday in Minneapolis, the family of George Floyd demanded recognition for his life well lived.

Why it matters: Floyd has become the latest symbol of police brutality after he was killed last week when a police officer held a knee to his neck.

Al Sharpton says Floyd family will lead march on Washington in August

The family of George Floyd is teaming up with the Rev. Al Sharpton to hold a march on Washington on Aug. 28 — the 57th anniversary of the civil rights movement's March on Washington — to call for a federal policing equality act, Sharpton announced during a eulogy at Floyd's memorial service in Minneapolis Thursday.

Why it matters: The news comes amid growing momentum for calls to address systemic racism in policing and other facets of society, after more than a week of protests and social unrest following the killing of Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

2 hours ago - Health

Medical journal retracts study that fueled hydroxychloroquine concerns

Photo: George Frey/AFP via Getty Images

The Lancet medical journal retracted a study on Thursday that found that coronavirus patients who took hydroxychloroquine had a higher mortality rate and increased heart problem than those who did nothing, stating that the authors were "unable to complete an independent audit of the data underpinning their analysis."

Why it matters: The results of the study, which claimed to have analyzed data from nearly 96,000 patients on six continents, led several governments to ban the use of the anti-malarial drug for coronavirus patients due to safety concerns.