Gene Therapy Creates New Skin to Save a Dying Child - (The New York Times via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Study data published in the journal Nature describe the use of gene therapy to create new skin for a child with junctional epidermolysis bullosa, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

  • In the study, the investigators removed a small patch of the child's skin and subjected it to genetic engineering to correct the defective gene.

  • The researchers used the modified tissue to grow sheets of skin in the laboratory, which were subsequently grafted onto the child's body.

  • The research team ultimately replaced 80 percent of the child's skin.

  • "We removed the gauze, and saw the epidermis underneath," remarked study author Michele De Luca, adding "we got the feeling that the body of the kid was recovering, was responding."

  • The investigators confirmed that the newly added genetic material did not appear in worrisome places, while a few long-lived stem cells maintained the newly implanted skin.

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