Breaking News
The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

Researchers Discover Potential Cure for Sickle Cell Anemia

Jaron Nix
A person holds a clear container underneath a microscope. Image by: Jaron Nix.

The world of science has improved exponentially over the last few decades. From advancements in AI to genetic engineering, science has opened a gateway of possibilities into worlds of fiction.

Researchers at Rice University in Houston, Texas have developed a base-pair editor for DNA that could potentially prevent and cure many genetic diseases.

A DNA double helix takes on the shape of a twisted ladder, composed of nucleotide sequences that are referred to as base-pairs. There are four base pairs within DNA; Adenine (A), Thymine (T), Guanine (G), and Cytosine (C). Each base has an opposite base that it connects to. Adenine is connected to Thymine, and Guanine is connected to Cytosine.

A major cause of genetic disease arises from point mutations found in DNA sequences. A point mutation occurs when a singular nucleotide is disrupting the DNA’s sequence. It could be that the base is missing, a base has been added, or rather a base has been changed.

Over half of point mutation diseases occur when A – T base pairs are replaced by G – C base pairs. Such diseases include sickle cell anemia and potentially lupus.

The researchers at Rice University have created a new base-editor using CRISPR that allows for easier and more precise genome editing. This gene editor stays inactive until a certain binding molecule is added; compared to previous techniques which constantly are in an “on” state.

Further testing showed the gene-editor performed well on mice and human cell cultures. It also reduced the amount of errors performed on the genes not being targeted by 70% allowing for higher accuracy.

It’s important for students, as well as anyone else, to stay up to date with the latest scientific discoveries. The world is changing rapidly and it’s essential that we know what is happening in it.

“I believe that artificial intelligence and genetic engineering will have revolutionary impacts on the world,” Junior Val Aguiniga says, “with genetic engineering one day we might be able to enhance our own intelligence, speed, agility, and muscle recovery. The list really is endless.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Lasso

Your donation will support the student journalists of Santa Rosa Academy. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Sydnee Teo
Sydnee Teo, Staff Writer
Born and raised in the gorgeous Menfiee, California on April 15, 2007, Sydnee Teo loves painting, reading, and weight lifting. Her max deadlift is 250 pounds. Sydnee’s favorite genre of books is dystopian. She enjoys science and wants to be a geneticist or a physicist after attending Stanford University. Sydnee loves many types of music, but her favorite era of music is early 2000’s. The Weekend is one of Sydnee’s favorite artists along with J. Cole; however, she hates Taylor Swift. Sydnee’s favorite flavor of Jolly Ranchers is Cherry, while her least favorite is Grape. 
Donate to The Lasso

Comments (0)

All The Lasso Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *