Incurable diseases from sickle cell to haemophilia now look as though they can be treated. It has been called the biggest breakthrough in neurodegenerative diseases for 50 years. The disease is caused by an aberration in a section of DNA called the huntingtin gene.
A French teenager’s sickle cell disease was reversed using a pioneering treatment to change his DNA. Blood cells should be round, but in the disease they become deformed and lock together to block the flow of blood around the body.
The more weight people lost the more likely they were to put their disease into remission. Scientists have, for the first time, successfully freed embryos of a piece of faulty DNA that causes deadly heart disease to run in families.
Its applications in medicine are vast and include the idea of wiping out genetic faults that cause diseases from cystic fibrosis to breast cancer.