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New gene splicing tool could revolutionize stem cell and other therapies
A powerful new tool in DNA splicing opens up new possibilities for stem cell and gene therapies

Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
Geneticist Ronald Conlon is director of the Case Transgenic and Targeting Facility, and a presenter at the 2015 Adult Stem Cell conference in Cleveland. He says new gene splicing technology could lead to radical new developments in stem cell research and therapies.
Courtesy of CWRU
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Scientists from around the globe are gathering in Cleveland this week to discuss the latest in adult stem cell research.

Stem cells are cells that orchestrate the body’s own repair systems.

WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair reports that one Cleveland researcher says stem cell therapy combined with a new gene repair technology could revolutionize medicine.


LISTEN: Dr. Ronald Conlon and CRISPR/cas

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As director of the Case Transgenic and Targeting Facility, Case Western Reserve University’s Ronald Conlon alters genes in mice so scientists can use them to test stem cell and other therapies. 

But he says radical new gene splicing technology called CRISPR/cas is opening up a new era in research and therapy.

“It is an immensely powerful tool," says Conlon.  "It has made understanding what genes do and what mutations do in model organisms that much easier. So it’s a huge revolution for scientists.”                          

Conlon says CRISPR/cas is a type of DNA scissors that can custom cut and replace any gene quickly and reliably.

He says it could lead to new ways to treat diseases like sickle cell anemia and AIDS.

“One can take, in principle, bone marrow from someone, correct the sickle cell mutation, transplant it back into people, and they should be cured of sickle cell disease,” says Conlon. 

Conlon says the new CRISPR/cas technology is a faster, cheaper, and more reliable way to do gene splicing for research and potentially in clinical settings - “People are taking this technology and finding new and creative uses for it that no one has yet conceived of.”            

The Adult Stem Cell Therapy & Regenerative Medicine conference runs through Wednesday in Cleveland.

Listener Comments:

That is true, mice are the most suitable tool to do the stem cell experiment.
Reference about the ES Cell:

Posted by: Andrea (New York, NY) on December 11, 2015 1:12AM
Can adult stem cells substitute for embryonic stem cells?
For crispr cas9:

Posted by: Debbie Evans (New York, NY) on December 10, 2015 3:12AM
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