Belgian breakthrough in gene science
Scientists working at the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology in Leuven have developed a procedure that makes it easier to repair human cells.
The procedure they have developed allows scientists to introduce healthy genes into cells that are diseased.
Thierry Vandendriessche of the Catholic University of Leuven explains: "Until now geneticists mainly used weakened cells to introduce cells into the genes of human beings.
"Sometimes this led to unfortunate side effects. Now a non-viral means of transport has been developed. It provides a safe and effective way of replacing diseased genes by healthy ones."
This gene therapy is used to treat patients with inherited diseases and certain forms of cancer.