Bystanders to Genocide by Samantha Power - Never again? Maybe not. This standout piece of in-depth reporting asks why the US goverment refused to intervene during the Rwandan genocide despite knowing about the unfolding atrocities.
Gene therapy (the replacement of a malfunctioning gene with a healthy one, usually through the use of mostly harmless viruses) for a deadly immune disorder is approaching the effectiveness of traditional therapies, despite some early speedbumps. This is good news for a field I am very much a fan of.
When it was first used in the 1990s to treat an immune deficiency, gene therapy — treating diseases by correcting a patient’s faulty genes — was touted as a breakthrough that was likely to cure scores of hereditary diseases. But when 18-year-old Jessie Gelsinger died in 1999 after having a corrected gene injected to treat his liver disease, the field became wary, and researchers found it difficult to fix the problems associated with the technique.
Now, more than 20 years later, long-term survival data are giving researchers hope that gene therapy might still fulfil its potential. Two studies published today in Science Translational Medicine show that 13 of 16 children treated with gene therapy for severe combined immune deficiency, or SCID, have had their immune systems restored, and one other is in remission for leukemia that developed due to the gene therapy treatment.