Mesoporous silica shell for enhanced DNA binding
Easy purification using a simple electromagnet
Developing a Permanant Treatment For Lactose Intolerance Using Gene Therapy
Lactose intolerance is one of the most pervasive eating disorders, affecting nearly 65% of the human population. In most mammals the ability to digest lactose stops shortly after weaning, but in some human populations a mutation allowed the ability to persist well into adulthood, or permanently in most cases. Those who are lactose intolerant either lack this mutation, or have one of several other mutations that cause the ability to stop around age 15-25.
The difference between lactose persistence and lactose intolerance is the production of an enzyme that breaks down lactose. In 1998 a paper came out demonstrating that it was possible to restart production of this enzyme through the application gene therapy. The treatment restored the lactose tolerance in the test animals. It however never progressed passed animal trials.
That's not to say the system that was developed was never used. The vector used in that paper has become pervasive as a negative control in other studies that use similar vectors due to it's safety and reliability as an expression marker.
All we've done is replicate the process of producing the vector and made the information on the process open for anyone who's interested. We also demonstrate a very preliminary test to see if the results could be translated to humans.
A lot more work and testing needs to be done before this process could see commercial use and so refining this process is the main focus of this project at this time. Please keep in mind this project is still in the develpment stage and is not finished.