Imagine being able to repair the genes that cause heart disease without invasive procedures or risky treatments.
Scientists at the University of Hawaii have made advances in using a special type of sound called ultrasound to do just that.
Gene therapy is a promising field that could help treat many diseases, including common heart problems such as atherosclerosis, which causes our arteries to harden.
Recently, a powerful gene editing tool called CRISPR has shown great potential. However, getting these treatments into our bodies safely and effectively has been challenging.
University of Hawaii researchers led by Cynthia Anderson have found a new way to deliver less invasive gene therapy. Instead of viruses or complicated methods, they use something we all know: ultrasound.
In their study, Anderson and her team mixed small pieces of DNA (the genetic code that makes us who we are) with tiny bubbles. These bubbles are often used in medical scans to produce clearer images. They then injected this mixture into mice.
As the mixture traveled through the mice’s bodies, they used ultrasound waves to gently pop the bubbles.
The pieces of DNA were released and reached the liver, an important organ for heart health. In the liver, they changed a gene called PDE3B.
This gene is like a set of instructions for making a protein that plays a huge role in heart health.
When researchers changed this gene in a specific way, it lowered levels of unhealthy fats in the blood and protected against heart disease.
A promising future for heart health
This study shows that we can safely and precisely modify our genes using ultrasound and tiny bubbles. Although the process is not as precise as laboratory dishes, it is a step toward better gene therapy for diseases such as heart disease.
Overall, it is a hopeful discovery for those who want to keep their heart healthy and disease-free. In the future, this type of treatment could help many people live longer, healthier lives without the need for invasive surgery or risky treatments.
If you care about heart disease, please read studies about chronic itching linked to heart disease. Drinking coffee this way can prevent heart disease and stroke.
For more on heart health, check out recent studies of supplements that could prevent heart disease and stroke, as well as results showing that a year of vigorous exercise in middle age reversed worrisome heart failure.
The research results can be found In Molecular therapy – nucleic acids.
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