New agent disables genetic diseases

A study to appear in the June 2007 issue of The FASEB Journal describes a new agent, called "Zorro-LNA," which has the potential to stop genetic disorders in their tracks. In the study, researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, describe how they developed Zorro-LNA to bind with both strands of a gene's DNA simultaneously, effectively disabling that gene. This development has clinical implications for virtually every human condition caused by or worsened by dominant defective genes. Examples include: Huntington's disease, familial high cholesterol, polycystic kidney disease, some instances of glaucoma and colorectal cancer, and neurofibromatosis, among others.

"Zorro-LNA is a new substance that targets DNA and turns off genes," said co-author Edvard Smith of the Karolinska Institute. "It has the potential of becoming a new drug for the treatment of human genetic disease."

- check out the release on the genetic research project