Bioengineering Gene Expression

A recent article at Sciencedaily called Bioengineers Devise ‘Dimmer Swith’ To Regulate Gene Expression In Mammal Cells discusses new technology being developed that combined a targeted DNA repressor protein, and a custom-designed RNAi strand. The repressor is thought to prevent most transcription, but in the event not all genes are repressed, the RNAi is thought to hunt out those transcripts, and destroy them.

Another chemical called Isopropyl-รข-thiogalactopyranoside acts as a “dimmer” that can block the repressor protein. Thus by altering the amount of this chemical, repressor and RNAi, they can regulate a gene’s expression. Cool.

Gene Therapy: Eye-Eye Doc!

Twelve patients are in the middle of a first-of-its-kind trial in the UK. They are undergoing gene therapy to correct a genetic gene deficiency; a gene called RPE65. It is supposed to be expressed at the beack of the eye, in the retina, and without that gene expression the eye won’t interpret images.

Currently in one patient, Robert Johnson, he can now see outlines during the day, but little at night – he has had genes inserted into one eye. The procedure itself requires extensive precision, including a risk of tearing the retina. (See image to the right; Source: Moorfields Eye Hospital)
Story adapted from BBC.
See full story here.