Genetics researchers from Harvard University today presented the results of their new project aimed at improving the work and functionality of a modern set of tools for genetic modification of stem cells. More precisely, the center of the new research was an experiment on the use of so-called “living” genetic systems that can be introduced into living cells as a kind of genetic load and modify the functions and even the structure of the cell in its natural environment, without having to separate it out and place it in a Petri dish, which, of course, is a really interesting achievement.
In general, the ability to automatically and integrally change the functionality and structure of a living cell without laboratory conditions is one of the top priorities in the development of modern genetics – and therefore Harvard specialists have especially tried to make their system effective. As a carrier of genetic modifiers, scientists have chosen the so-called adeno-associative virus, which is characterized by the ability to quickly and accurately deliver such tools into the cell itself, without damaging it.
It is worth noting that the preliminary tests associated with the use of such genetic modifiers gave positive results in the laboratory, but in the conditions of a new experiment on mice – where the changes were carried out directly in the living cell – everything became really interesting. Scientists in fact managed to form several new categories of stem cells, mainly of bone and muscle type in mice.
Thus, these successes demonstrate the fact that Harvard specialists managed to recreate the natural cellular process by artificial methods, while carrying out all the genetic manipulations directly in the cellular environment. Scientists are expected to conduct some additional tests in order to maximize the effectiveness of the new approach.