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But, the simplicity of the system means that one wrong letter can throw off important parts of us.ABE targets the ‘A,’ adenine, and rearranges its atoms to turn it into guanine.The approach has been used previously to edit the HBB gene responsible for a condition called β-thalassaemia.The gene editors are developments on the CRISPR technology which allows scientists to more efficiently target and edit the genome, developed by Dr Feng Zheng and his lab at the Broad Institute.So, where there is an incorrect AT set of base pairs in the genome, ABE can reset it to a GC.
Both diseases, and about half all human genetic disorders, are caused by mutations in single letters in the human genome, in which an 'A' appears where there should be a 'B.'The newly-developed gene editing systems can target the smallest units of our DNA or RNA to undo the mutation that causes cystic fibrosis.
Cystic fibrosis is an incurable genetic disease that affects around 70,000 people worldwide.
A defective gene causes a build-up of mucus in the airwaves, making it increasingly difficult to breathe over time.
Dr Zheng and his lab used their REPAIR system to correct a mutation that causes a form of anemia.
Dr Liu's team successfully used ABE in live human cells to correct a mutation that causes the body to retain more iron from our diet than it should.