Biologists have Found a Way to Regenerate Neurons in Mice with Parkinson’s Using CRISPR Gene Editing

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Discussion posted by: David McNamara

Scientists have found a way to use CRISPR to create new neurons in mice with Parkinson’s disease—and the new method could also be used for other neurodegenerative diseases, offering hope of a cure or treatment for potentially millions of people. When biologists first developed the CRISPR gene-editing tool, scientists working in a wide range of specializations were able to imagine what CRISPR might be able to do for their research—and we’ve now seen the remarkable tool applied to all kinds of problems, from sickle cell disease to HIV. Now, scientists from China and the U.S. have discovered that deleting the RNA-binding protein Ptbp-1 in a specific type of brain cell—glial cells called astrocytes—causes them to turn into useful neurons.