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UCLA scientists design masks to hide genetic mutations from cell

FINDINGS: UCLA scientists have devised a novel way to correct abnormal gene splicing ?a common mutation that often leads to disease. Splicing edits out the punctuation from a cell’s genetic blueprint, enabling its code to dictate protein production by the cell. Using new technology made by Gene Tools of Oregon, the researchers designed a custom mask to camouflage each abnormal splice. The technique prevents the cell from seeing the genetic defects and restores splicing to the correct location in the gene.

IMPACT: The laboratory findings suggest a powerful new approach for treating cancer and other diseases caused by genetic mutations. The researchers?next step will be to test their findings in a mouse model.

AUTHORS: Dr. Richard Gatti, professor of pathology and human genetics, and postdoctoral fellow Liutao Du at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, are available for interviews.

JOURNAL: The research appears in the March 19 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Source:University of California - Los Angeles

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