Thursday, December 12, 2019
Herpes' Achilles' Heel
The herpes simplex virus (more commonly known as herpes), is a cold sore virus that can enter the body through the mouth, nose, and genitals. The virus stays dormant after initial infection only to be regularly reawakened to cause outbreaks such as cold sores or blisters. Antiviral drugs can prevent repeated outbreaks, but they do not always work. Using human fibroblast cells infected with HSV, Harvard Medical School scientists have successfully used CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to disrupt not only the actively replicating virus, but also the much harder to reach latent reservoirs. The experiments also show that the DNA of the rapidly replicating virus is more exposed to the Cas9 enzyme — molecular scissors in the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing system.
I thought that this article was really interesting because this could be the solution to curing herpes. This article made me hopeful for the future of medicine because people will no longer have to take medication to prevent the virus from spreading.