Artificial viruses: promise for gene therapy and personalized medicine

A pair of XX chromosomes

Viruses are efficient biological machines capable of rapidly replicating and generating copies of themselves. Therefore, some human viruses, such as lentivirusare already used in studies to deliver DNA or RNA for therapeutic purposes in some animals. However, given the youth of this new technology The use of viruses to treat certain diseases still has some limitations in its management and several security issues.

Despite this, the mechanisms used by viruses are an interesting area of ​​research with many and hypothetically beneficial applications in medicine. One way to mimic these mechanisms is through design of an artificial virus with nanomaterials capable of reproducing its mode of action and through which various therapeutic treatments can be applied.

An interesting area of ​​research is the mechanisms used by viruses

This is exactly what a team led by a researcher from the Catholic University of America has just presented. Venigalla Rao: a new method for constructing artificial virus-like vectors capable of entering human cells to perform specific tasks such as gene editing. These customizable nanomaterials could be promising candidates for gene therapy and personalized medicine.

Rao is the founding director of the university’s Bacteriophage Medical Research Center, which is dedicated to exploring the therapeutic potential of a type of virus that cannot infect humans and many of which are part of the healthy body’s microbiome. So in an article recently published in the journal Nature Communications under the title Design of bacteriophage T4-based artificial viral vectors for human genome remodeling, Rao and colleagues describe the new construction method in detail artificial viral vectors -AVV– using a type of virus that infects bacteria called bacteriophage T4.

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