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HIV can defeat efforts to cripple it with CRISPR gene-editing technology, researchers say. And the very act of editing — involving snipping at the virus’s genome — may introduce mutations that help it to resist attack.
At least half a dozen papers over the past three years have explored using the popular CRISPR–Cas9 gene editing technique to combat HIV, but the latest finding, described in a study published on 7 April in Cell Reports1
, adds to questions about the feasibility of the approach. However, the researchers involved say that the discovery is a minor setback that does not preclude the idea altogether.