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+ - Italian team cures Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome with the help of the HIV virus

Submitted by tchernobog
tchernobog (752560) writes "An Italian team funded by Telethon and S. Raffaele of Milan, was able to cure six kids affected by lethal genetic diseases (in Italian, English video): the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome and the metachromatic leukodystrophy. This is the culmination of a project lasted 15 years, and which cost more than 30M €; the researchers have published some preliminary results last year on Nature, and are waiting for the results on more patients to submit another.

The really interesting part is, they used a mix of advanced genic techniques to achieve this result. Firstly, the DNA of a defective cell is corrected with a gene first assembled in the lab. This procedure has always been very dangerous for the past 20 years: the fact that it can be used is a good achievement alone. Secondly, the corrected DNA is propagated in the patient body using a stripped-down version of the HIV virus, of which less than 10% of its original genome remains.

Might the feared HIV virus in reality prove to be salvation for some?"

+ - Oil at sea is recoverable with greasy wool->

Submitted by
tchernobog
tchernobog writes "Sometimes simple ideas are the best ones. An Italian group from Biella has developed a new method to clean oil spilled at sea by using greasy wool. Up to 950,000 tons of oil can be collected with 10,000 tons of inexpensive wool, without the risk of polluting the sea any further. The method has been presented to BP to be employed in the recovery of the Gulf of Mexico."
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