BBC reports that a French teenager has been free of sickle cell disease for the last 15 months after a world-first procedure involving reprogramming his DNA. While doctors are very careful in calling it a cure, the procedure is still quite an achievement.
Doctors removed his bone marrow - the part of the body that makes blood. They then genetically altered it in a lab to compensate for the defect in his DNA that caused the disease.
Sickle cell is caused by a typo in the instructions for making the protein haemoglobin, which is densely packed into red blood cells.
A virus was used to infect the bone marrow with new, correct instructions.
The corrected bone marrow was then put back into the patient.
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