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CRISPR for Blindness

A patient at Oregon Health and Science University has undergone gene editing to treat a form of blindness, the Associated Press reports. It notes this is the first study using CRISPR to within the body to treat disease.

This patient and the others enrolled in the study have Leber congenital amaurosis, a form of inherited blindness. Because the gene affected by this condition is so large, a gene therapy approach in which a corrected version of the gene is introduced isn't a viable option, the AP notes. 

"We literally have the potential to take people who are essentially blind and make them see," Charles Albright, the CEO of Editas Medicine, which is developing the CRISPR-based treatment with Allergan. "We think it could open up a whole new set of medicines to go in and change your DNA."

The AP adds that it may take about a month to determine whether the treatment is working and that if it appears safe, it will then be tried in about 18 children and adults.