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Treatment So Far

Initial tests indicate that a CRISPR-based treatment for sickle cell disease may be working, NPR reports.

In August, Vertex Pharmaceuticals and CRISPR Therapeutics began a trial in which doctors are removing cells from patients' bone marrow, editing them to produce fetal hemoglobin, and re-introducing the now-altered cells back into the patients. The trial, which is to have 45 patients, started with one, Victoria Gray, as NPR reported at the time.

It now reports that Gray's cells are producing fetal hemoglobin, and more than the researchers estimated would be needed to treat her sickle cell disease. Additionally, Gray has not had any painful attacks associated with the condition, has not had to receive any blood transfusions, and has been able to go watch her son play sports, it adds. This, NPR's Rob Stein says, is "a first hint that this [treatment] might be working" and safe.

"It's amazing, you know, to have a chance at a different type of life," Gray tells NPR.

Gray's doctor, TriStar Centennial Medical Center's Haydar Frangoul, notes that she will continue to be monitored, but that this is a "huge achievement."

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.