Selective RNA Sequences for Detecting and Acting on Gene Therapy in Target Cells

Engineers find a way to turn on RNA therapy in human cells.

Researchers from MIT and Harvard University developed a method to selectively activate gene therapy in cells of interest, including human ones. The technology detects specific messenger RNA in cells and triggers the production of a particular protein using a transgene or artificial gene.

Researchers wanted to find ways to reduce the off-target effects of gene therapy because transgenes have the potential to cause negative or even dangerous effects if expressed in the wrong cell types. The RNA sequences within cells can be used to distinguish between different types of cell. These sequences vary from one tissue to another.

Researchers developed a new technology to fine-tune gene therapy in a variety of applications, from regenerative medicine and cancer treatment to regenerative medicine. Researchers could, for example, create new cancer therapies by designing a system that would identify cancer cells before producing a toxic protein inside them, killing the cells.


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