British scientists have discovered that a form of HIV, adapted to be harmless, is a promising vector for ferrying replacement genes into the lungs of affected foetuses.
Experiments at University College London have already shown that the modified virus can infect the lung tissue of unborn mouse pups, suggesting it could be used to correct the genetic defects that cause cystic fibrosis.
The virus could potentially be engineered to carry working copies of the gene which, when it goes wrong, causes the devastating lung condition. It would then be used to infect foetuses known to be affected by the disease before they were born.
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