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Researchers Successfully Cut HIV DNA Out of Human Cells

Soulskill posted about 2 months ago | from the uses-for-your-trusty-nanoknife dept.

Medicine 64

mrspoonsi sends word that researchers from Temple University have managed to eliminate the HIV-1 virus from human cells for the first time. "When deployed, a combination of a DNA-snipping enzyme called a nuclease and a targeting strand of RNA called a guide RNA (gRNA) hunt down the viral genome and excise the HIV-1 DNA (abstract). From there, the cell's gene repair machinery takes over, soldering the loose ends of the genome back together – resulting in virus-free cells." While antiretroviral therapy can treat people who are infected with HIV, the immune system is incapable of actually removing the virus, so this is an important step in fighting it. The researchers still have to overcome the problem of delivering the the genetic "toolkit" to each affected cell in a patient's body, and also HIV's high mutation rate.

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AIDS is good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511303)

It kills faggots and junkies. I'm A-OK with that shit.

Re:AIDS is good (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511423)

We don't need it if we would quarantine the people that decided to get this virus. Other than a very few people that got it from blood transfusions in the 80's, nearly all of the people with it got it from something they intentionally did. Why can't we quarantine these morons like we used to do with other diseases? Why is GRIDS so different that we can't protect the public from these people? They've proven they'll intentionally spread it, or it would have died-out over twenty years ago. Instead, we let these people keep spreading it.

Re:AIDS is good (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 2 months ago | (#47511461)

You also left out people who were raped, and a fair number of hospital staff. Not to mention, that if you forcibly relocate people, they are going to be even less honest about having HIV, which means more people will catch it and possibly spread it before they find out they have it.

Re:AIDS is good (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 months ago | (#47511507)

As demonstrated by our victory in the war on drugs, clearly we can just step up enforcement to solve the problem!

Re:AIDS is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511537)

And biggest of all you don't know you have it unless you're either tested for it or you develop AIDS and get diagnosed. In other words you can go for years without knowing. There's no way you can quarantine people if you can't identify who to do it to.

On top of that during that time they may have plenty of sexual partners. Some you'll be unable to contact, either because you've lost their contact details, they've moved away, or they were a one night stand.

Quarantine is complete impractical.

Re:AIDS is good (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about 2 months ago | (#47511595)

Not to mention, that if you forcibly relocate people, they are going to be even less honest about having HIV

Sir, please follow the gentleman who's goose stepping down the hall.

Re:AIDS is good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511787)

Why are you defending your faggot AIDS buddies? It's it because you're a faggot with AIDS too? Cock smokers deserve to die for being faggots.

Re:AIDS is good (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47515029)

Bitch please, you're just secretly afraid that cock is delicious. Which it is, just ask your dad how much he likes it.

Re:AIDS is good (-1, Flamebait)

righteousness (3421867) | about 2 months ago | (#47512729)

Rape is already illegal. We should implement the death penalty for rape, then we'd also eliminate those people who were infected other people with HIV by raping them. As for the hospital staff, if we just make the decision to just leave the faggots and junkies to rot, then there'd be less risk for hospital staff to catch HIV.

Additionally, the infection rate would drop drastically if people would just stop fornicating.

Re:AIDS is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47513117)

Additionally, the infection rate would drop drastically if people would just stop fornicating.

This is a solution to almost every problem humanity currently faces.

Re:AIDS is good (2)

ooshna (1654125) | about 2 months ago | (#47513287)

The troll is strong with this one.

Re:AIDS is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47518803)

Obvious troll is obvious.

Re:AIDS is good (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511491)

Why can't we quarantine these morons like we used to do with other diseases?

Because liberals are too nice to force people to spend the rest of their lives in isolation for getting some disease.

And because conservatives are too cheap to pay for it.

Re:AIDS is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47515893)

and Libertarians are for freedom.

Re:AIDS is good (2)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 2 months ago | (#47511555)

We don't need it if we would quarantine the people that decided to get this virus. Other than a very few people that got it from blood transfusions in the 80's, nearly all of the people with it got it from something they intentionally did. Why can't we quarantine these morons like we used to do with other diseases? Why is GRIDS so different that we can't protect the public from these people? They've proven they'll intentionally spread it, or it would have died-out over twenty years ago. Instead, we let these people keep spreading it.

The majority of cases I know of these days are:
Needle sharing with an HIV carrier
Women who are victims of rape
Men who raped women who were previously victims of rape
Children who were born with it.

Most of the cases are in Africa.

The other issue is that testing is fully voluntary, and HIV can be dormant. Tracking the spread and infection of HIV/AIDS is inherently difficult as well, because along with discovery being voluntary, the people who have it also hear the "nearly all of the people with it got it from something they intentionally did" line. So they're not likely to admit to having intentionally done something if they can avoid it.

Compare that to SARS, where the victims could be anyone, West Nile, where prior to it going epidemic, the majority of victims were on cruise ships, or MMR, where the victims of those diseases are mostly children. Then there's Polio which is no longer eradicated, and Smallpox, which isn't much compared to the flu strains our bodies have to deal with on a regular basis these days.

Disease eradication, prevention and management is tricky. Isolating HIV carriers will prove trickier than convincing people to do annual inoculations for common viruses for which herd protection could easily wipe out the viruses in short order.

What worries me more is the HIV variant that subverts the gene therapy discussed here, creating a new immunovirus that can slice and dice our genes however it likes.

Re:AIDS is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47512147)

You forgot a few other scenarios:

Men who raped women who were infected (Surprise!)
Men who were the victims of rape by another man.
Men who were the victims of rape by another female.
Men who were the victims of rape by a gang of HIV infected roaming nomad female rapists.
Ninjas.
Spanish inquisition.
Rare flying hiv infected fish that bite male rapists.

Re:AIDS is good (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 2 months ago | (#47513337)

I didn't expect the Ninjas.

Re:AIDS is good (1)

pnutjam (523990) | about 2 months ago | (#47514721)

nobody ever expects the ninjas... (lowercase, 'cause it's sneaky)

Re:AIDS is good (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 2 months ago | (#47515277)

I didn't expect the Ninjas.

Nobody expects the....

Wait. Wrong meme.

Re:AIDS is good (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 2 months ago | (#47520595)

Whoosh....

Re:AIDS is good (1)

greenwow (3635575) | about 2 months ago | (#47512241)

Because Republicans would rather have gays spreading it around rather than take common sense actions to stop its spread.

Re: AIDS is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47512899)

Exactly. Republicans are against a sensible quarantine plan because they hate gays. They hate us, and want us to die. So they refuse to protect us.

But what about the Children? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511307)

I heard this process causes autism.

Re:But what about the Children? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 months ago | (#47511321)

It does, but only to the HIV virus.

soddering (2)

MildlyTangy (3408549) | about 2 months ago | (#47511345)

From TFA:
"...soldering the loose ends of the genome back together..."

I sure hope they used RoHS solder (aka sodder for the US people). Lead is toxic to cells.

Re:soddering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511425)

Uh, it's spelled "solder" in the US, too.

Re:soddering (0)

MildlyTangy (3408549) | about 2 months ago | (#47512959)

Uh, it's spelled "solder" in the US, too.

Yes, but how do US people pronounce it?

Sodder

Why? who knows...maybe just to be different? Your guess is as good as mine.

I tried this with two North American friends a few years ago....
Me: "Pronounce this word"
*writes on paper....'old'*
Them: "old"

Me: "and this word"
*writes down 'sold'*
Them: "sold"

Me: "pronounce this word"
*writes down 'older'*
Them: "older"

Me: "And now say this word"
*writes down 'solder'*
Them: "sodder"

I facepalmed.

Re:soddering (0)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 2 months ago | (#47513357)

I facepalmed.

How do you pronounce that again?

say alms
say pal
say palm

o.O

Re:soddering (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about 2 months ago | (#47513757)

Good one! Apart from 'solder' English pronunciation is so consistent that this is absolutely shocking.

Re:soddering (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#47515403)

Uh, it's spelled "solder" in the US, too.

Yes, but how do US people pronounce it?

Sodder

OK, smartass.

How do you say "walking"? Do you pronounce it wallking?

How do you say "talking"? Do you pronounce it tallking?

How about these? calm half salmon talk balk would should

"We should cut the salmon in half and talk calmy" is pronounced by most English speakers without a single audible L in it.

Let's face it. English is a screwed up language, and inherently affected by accent and upbringing. And it's full of exceptions and things which make no sense.

Now, tell me how many Brits say "idear"? Do the words "tire" "tower" and "tar" sound any different?

How many Brits essentially can't say "th" and turn it into a V or an F? Because I've certainly heard people say what sounds like "wevver" instead of weather.

So, when we hear a uniform dialect of English in the UK, we might take you seriously. But the reality is, we don't.

Re:soddering (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 2 months ago | (#47515955)

I only agree on the 'should' all other L's usually spoken by britts and they are audible. And we germans with our nasty accent try hard to indeed speak them (because no one really told us we should not). However I agree in 'half' and 'talk' you often don't hear or speak it ... that you don't speak the L in solder is completely new to me, what would be the reason?

My english teacher told me english has mot many dialects but more so 'sociallects' he claimed it was less the region but more the class you lived in forming your way of speak.

But I guess that was only an 'en vougue' way of looking at it when he studdied.

Re:soddering (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#47516181)

that you don't speak the L in solder is completely new to me, what would be the reason?

Well, the obvious answer is several hundred years of separation before we had any form of telephony or occasion to hear it spoken.

Take Newfoundland (a province of Canada), for example. There are Irish accents which haven't existed in Ireland for a few hundred years. Why? Because they were remote places, without a lot of interaction, and the accent remained intact even after it had died out in County Cork.

Why is there High German and Low German? Again, either geography, class, or something else. My guess is mostly class.

In North America you're talking about a huge land area, settled over time by people from all sorts of places, and with no fast transportation between them.

Even regionally the pronunciation can change quite a bit. Heck, I don't have the same inflections as most of my family does. I've actually been asked where I'm from by people who grew up in the same area.

In the UK, there's massive differences in accents -- some class based, apparently, and some region based. There are plenty of people in the UK who, as far as I understand, will say "hise" instead of "house". Why that would be, I have no idea.

For instance, I have known more than a few Brits who almost can't say "th". So, instead of "thought", it comes out as "fought". They don't even hold their mouth/tongue the way you would to make the "th" sound, they make an entirely different sound, essentially the way I'd make an "f" sound. Similarly, in my limited experience, a lot of German speakers turn the "th" into more of a "z" sound, so you can get "zinking" instead of "thinking".

Beyond that, you'd need to ask a linguist. Over time, what you grew up hearing and saying defines how you say it, and what you can say. I strongly suspect there are some sounds that some people simply cannot make if they didn't learn early enough.

Sometimes, I do wonder if accents aren't sometimes the equivalent of a regional speech impediment, and they will always affect how you speak. :-P

The longer I live, and the more non-native speakers of English I meet, the more I have a hard time explaining all of the corner cases in English, because it's made up of stuff from so many different languages.

Re:soddering (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 2 months ago | (#47538475)

High German and Low German is a bit difficult.

In laymen terms and daily use "High German" is the "Dialect" that is talked in schools, used on radio and TV and is the modern "written german". It is in our days not really the "upper class" german but statistically lower class people tend to speak 'Dialect' only more often. While more 'upper class' people usually speak 'High German' only. However many people speak both, their 'Home Dialect' and 'High German'. I only speak 'High German' but I guess that is because I spend my time in school from 5th grade on in a gymnasium where most teachers spoke 'High German' and the kids came from 3 different majour dialects. Well, this particular dialect we now call 'High German' is a slightly evolved 'Dialect' (like all the other dialects, it is just a dialect, nothing 'higher' than the 'lower' ones). It is the dialect that is spoken or was spoken in the Area of Muenster. It became 'High German' that means distributed over whole germany and slowly adapted by higher classes because Martin Luther wrote his german translation of The Bible in that 'Dialect', and coincidently :D Johannes Gutenberg printed and distributed it widely.

Linguistic however the distinction is between the lower lands and is called 'Niederdeutsch' (roughly translated into 'Low' or more precisely 'Lower' german) and the higher lands. However that is as many 'Linguistic Classifications' just an arbitrary and very misleading one. At least we can says that all the dialects spread over the 'Higher Grounds' not necessarily have much in common, same for the dialects spread over the lower areas or the coasts. Or more precisely, coastal dialects amoung each other have much in common but not much with the dialects spoken in the non costal lower grounds, like in Niedersachsen (Lower Saxonia) or Nordrheinwestfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia). In other words I bet that modern 'High German' is according to the linguists more likely a 'Lower German Dialect' as it comes from the lower plains in the north-west of germany.

Beyond that, you'd need to ask a linguist. Over time, what you grew up hearing and saying defines how you say it, and what you can say. I strongly suspect there are some sounds that some people simply cannot make if they didn't learn early enough.

Yeah, we germans tend to mispronounce 'th' with a 'z' ... it is very difficult to correctly learn english (or any other weird language, like french or gallic) because you hear yourself different than others, when your teacher repeats 100 times 'what' you should say instead of mimiking what you 'actually sound' like you have hard chances. Most teachers are simply incompetent ... one even drove me to tears because he let me repeat stuff hours long instead of once explaining me what I actually do wrong.

On the other hand, try chinese ... they basically sing. And that in a way which is nearly not hearable for many europeans. The syllable 'shi' can have many meanings depending if the 'i' is simply pronounced, or prolonged or is going up in tune or down ... well perhaps 'shi' is a bad example, I don't speak chinese. Luckily japanese is super simple :D. Except for the unknown words it sounds like german or italian, clear vowels more or less written like you speak it (or other way around: spoken like it is written)

The longer I live, and the more non-native speakers of English I meet, the more I have a hard time explaining all of the corner cases in English, because it's made up of stuff from so many different languages.
Ofc, the british islands got invaded a couple of hundred times. Many invaders who stayed, got half assimilated and half they conquered a little kingdom for themselves. When the next wave of invaders came they fought with the older residential tribes together against the new invaders ... but again some of the new ones managed to settle ... so many languages got melted into english.

Re:soddering (1)

laie_techie (883464) | about 2 months ago | (#47517403)

How about these? calm half salmon talk balk would should

"We should cut the salmon in half and talk calmy" is pronounced by most English speakers without a single audible L in it.

I grew up in Hawaii and Utah:
calm: pronounce the l
half: haff
salmon: sammon
balk: pronounce the l
would: wood
should: shood

Re:soddering (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511453)

Hey faggot, we know what the fuck solder is. You're just a dumb fucking gimp who thinks you're better than everyone else. Go fuck yourself, you fucking bigot.

Re:soddering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47513351)

You got it part-way right; when I read "soddering," soft metal didn't come to mind; I thought they meant sodomizing.

Re:soddering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47513853)

Way to represent, 'murka!

Re:soddering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511467)

Soddering is just a metaphor. The correct term would be ligating, but most of you wouldn't know what that means.

Re:soddering (0)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 months ago | (#47511677)

(aka sodder for the US people)

I'm from the US. I'm fluent in English. "Sodder" ain't real English.

Trying to capture the phonetics of a local dialect when writing dialog is one thing, but it's an insult to others when you provide a dumbed down misspelling of a word and suggest that it's for their benefit. Besides which, the silent L is well-establish in both of our dialects (e.g. could, would, alms, calm, half, and folk all have silent Ls in accepted usage of either British or American English, though obviously there are non-standard pronunciations out there). The way the L softens the vowel sound in those cases is no different than what happens in American English with "solder". Besides which, regardless of which side of the Atlantic (or Pacific!) you prefer, the English dictionary is rife with spellings that in no way resemble the actual pronunciation.

TL;DR: People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Re:soddering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511947)

calm and folk have non-silent Ls. Solder does have a silent L.

Re:soddering (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47512239)

Dialect's an interesting thing. In 10-20% of the US, calm is in fact pronounced as if the L is silent. In at least everywhere in the US I've lived (about a third of it), folk is most definitely pronounced with a silent L.

Here too, calm and solder are pronounced with the same vowel sound...

Re:soddering (0)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 months ago | (#47513127)

While I too pronounce them as you describe, I specifically chose all of those words after confirming their pronunciation using multiple references online. As I said in my post, others, including myself, may pronounce them in non-standard ways, but the accepted pronunciations for all of those words involve silent Ls.

Re:soddering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47514463)

So cahm foke somewhere mispronounce English? That's unpossible!

Re:soddering (1)

OakDragon (885217) | about 2 months ago | (#47515215)

I think I've soldiered through this thread long enough.

Re:soddering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47512121)

Maybe he's just a pothead who's damaged enough neurons to be incapable of spelling correctly?

Re:soddering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47512313)

Wow... you are quite possibly the most petty person I have ever encountered... Bravo!

Re:soddering (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 months ago | (#47514571)

I take it you're new to the Internet then. Well, let me welcome you to Slashdot, land of pedants and others of that sort.

Delivery method (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511551)

"The researchers still have to overcome the problem of delivering the the genetic "toolkit" to each affected cell in a patient's body"

Solution: Use the HIV virus itself

http://www.scripps.edu/news/press/2014/20140626torbett.html

"Viruses infect the body by inserting their own genetic material into human cells. In gene therapy, however, scientists have developed “gutted” viruses, such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), to produce what are called “viral vectors.” Viral vectors carry therapeutic genes into cells without causing viral disease. Torbett and other scientists have shown that HIV vectors can deliver genes to blood stem cells."

The irony in this solution would be over 9000.

Re:Delivery method (1)

sg_oneill (159032) | about 2 months ago | (#47512705)

Actually a Judas-virus approach would be perfect since its already clear that the body seems unable or unwilling to kill the virus, its free to move into place to knife its buddies. And if the body does decide to start killing the viruses, well all the better really it means the body now realises HIV isn't something to keep about!

Re:Delivery method (1)

lazy genes (741633) | about 2 months ago | (#47512779)

I bet the next time they invent a virus, they will add more proline and glycine.

Re:Delivery method (2)

Chikungunya (2998457) | about 2 months ago | (#47512933)

Its not so easy, viral vectors work well to deliver nucleic acid sequences to act directly or by the proteins that they encode.

This approach unfortunately depends of the combination of a protein and a sequence of RNA, even if you can make a viral vector that encodes both the RNA sequence and the nuclease so they can be produced, there is no process that can be used to combine them both inside the cell, so they cannot function.

A good delivering method effective for this kind of approach would also allow several other very effective cure candidates that have exactly the same problem. It is an interesting technique but not exactly an advance.

Re:Delivery method (1)

Kyrubas (991784) | about 2 months ago | (#47513107)

Yeah, so something like this:
http://xkcd.com/938/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Delivery method (1)

Mortiss (812218) | about 2 months ago | (#47515929)

Solution: Use the HIV virus itself

A possible problem with that approach might be that on cell level, HIV posesses mechanisms such as CD4 downregulation (CD4 is HIV receptor) that are designed to prevent another HIV virus from further infecting already infected cells. This mechanism ensures that idividual cells don't get superinfected and don't die prematurely.

Hence using modified HIV "viral vector" might not be the best option here, but there are lots of other virus vectors although getting them to exhibit exactly same tropism like HIV (T-cells, macrophages) might be a problem.

The hard part (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511719)

This will be it: "The researchers still have to overcome the problem of delivering the the genetic "toolkit" to each affected cell in a patient's body, and also HIV's high mutation rate."

fros7 pi5t (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511845)

Alike to r34p

Fir5t p0st (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47512271)

No matter how maintained that too result of a Quarrel THE NEXT ROUND OF

With all this progress on HIV, (1)

jenningsthecat (1525947) | about 2 months ago | (#47512459)

I'm astonished that they haven't made more progress on cancer. I know it's like comparing apples and oranges, and I realize that cancer is a whole bunch of diseases while HIV is a handful of strains of the same virus. Still, cancer research has been very heavily funded for far longer than HIV research. Yet it seems that very little progress has been made on cancer beyond 'cut it out, poison it, nuke it', while attempts at eliminating HIV seem more subtle and nuanced by comparison. I know I'm probably missing something important here; anyone care to enlighten me? TIA.

Re: With all this progress on HIV, (2)

mordjah (1088481) | about 2 months ago | (#47513015)

Can you not see that this research is directly applicable? Arguably cancer can be considered a copy error (wouldn't it be nice if our DNA had CRC?) If you think about it like that it seems that you could replace the error bits in just this fashion, and voilla.. Cancers ( all of them, as well as a shitload of other genetic issues ) are a memory.. Now where the hell do we put all the people?

Re: With all this progress on HIV, (1)

miknix (1047580) | about 2 months ago | (#47513823)

The thing is that as horrible as it may sound, cancer is part of evolution. When there is a genetic mutation, there is high change it turns out into just cancer but it can also turn out into another eye color, or immunity against a virus. If you put a CRC into our genome, then we could never evolve genetically anymore. But then, well, some say our natural process of genetic evolution stopped the moment we learned to change the genome.

Re: With all this progress on HIV, (1)

mordjah (1088481) | about 2 months ago | (#47515801)

Exactly this.. If we can successfully place a CRC into our genome I posit that we are no longer in need of random mutation to guide our evolution.. I for one can think of a couple dozen genetic hacks I would give a lot for.

Re: With all this progress on HIV, (1)

NotInHere (3654617) | about 2 months ago | (#47527183)

The normal evolutionary mutations happen only in (proto-)gamet cells. Cancer mutations happen mostly in non-gamet cells.

Re:With all this progress on HIV, (3, Insightful)

structural_biologist (1122693) | about 2 months ago | (#47513047)

Here is probably the biggest difference in terms of a drug-development perspective: HIV relies on enzymes that are not normally found in the human body, so it is relatively easy to find drugs that can target these proteins without causing significant side effects. Cancer cells, however, are human cells themselves, so the proteins that drive tumor growth and malignancy are found in healthy cells as well. Thus, developing anti-cancer drugs is not just a matter of finding and inactivating the proteins that drive cancers, but also making sure that inactivating these targets does not harm other non-cancerous cells in the body.

Re:With all this progress on HIV, (1)

clawsoon (748629) | about 2 months ago | (#47515027)

Look into Gleevec and other tyrosine kinase inhibitors for examples of a few highly specific cancer treatments that we've managed to developed for a few of the "whole bunch of diseases" that cancer is.

a tiny step.. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47513089)

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/07/17/1405186111.abstract

This isn't such a big deal. Cas9/CRISPR is being used for all sorts of applications. This is just one of them, and the actual challenge isn't editing the genome, it is delivering Cas9/CRISPR to all cells of the body and having them being specific. That is far, far more difficult.
The authors detected INDELS (insertion/deletions) within the HIV-1 targetted sequence, so that is good -- it's doing what it should be in that respect.

However, Cas9/CRISPR can go OT (off target) and edit non-targetted DNA. It is the most specific editing tool that anybody has ever found, and will no doubt be Nobel-Prize worthy one day. But if OT effects happen, this is bad, when you start deleting/editing bits of DNA randomly - things can go wrong, cells and tissues can do things they're not meant to. Although that is fairly rare with Cas9/CRISPR -- however when exposed to megabases of DNA even rare events can become frequent (I would consider 1 OT effect too many for me, if I was about to be injected with something that was going to edit my Genome).
The authors did detect some OT effects (from their paper published in PNAS). So they carefully use the phrasing "minimize" OT effects in their paper. Also, they say "The long-term expression of Cas9/LTR-A/B gRNAs did not adversely affect cell growth or viability, suggesting a low occurrence of off-target interference with the host genome or Cas9-induced toxicity in this model." while it's a golf-clap worthy assay for cells in a dish (where's the rest of the assays for motility, cilial function, cell cycle length, etc.?), that isn't good enough either when uttering the words 'therapy'.

It's kind of neat, but I can see why this is PNAS and not Nature or Nat Med.

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