Scientists “edited” DNA of chickens, making them resistant to the flu

Ученые «отредактировали» ДНК кур, сделав их устойчивыми к гриппу

The virus is able to mutate and attack people.

Bird flu that spread to humans, is of particular concern because of the speed with which it can be spread by the mediation of wild and domestic birds. When the virus mutates and gains the ability to attack people, it becomes extremely deadly because of the speed with which he transferred the patient from his environment, reports the with reference to UNIAN.

The researchers used a gene editing technique to stop the spread of the avian influenza virus between cells of a chicken in a lab. This is a significant step in prior to the creation of genetically modified species of popular pet birds, the use of which could end the threat of the disease.

Researchers from Imperial College London and the University of Edinburgh could edit the DNA of a chicken so that the bird flu could not gain a foothold and start to multiply. The next step for the team will raise adult chickens with the same genetic changes, explained one of the study’s authors Mike McGrew.

“This is an important breakthrough, which indicates the possibility of using the technique to edit the genes for growing chickens resistant to avian flu,” he said.

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Now scientists need to test whether the desired changes in the DNA of birds to cause some other consequences for cells. After that, scientists will start work on the cultivation of resistant avian flu chickens. Actually, we are talking about how to remove DNA from a protein called ANP32. The virus uses to infect the host organism. The last pandemic of bird flu occurred in 2009 and 2010, killing about 500 thousand people worldwide. A famous case of “Spanish flu” in 1918 killed about 50 million people.

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