If one lacks an important protein, and this is manifest as a disease, Elizabeth Fenjves and her colleagues at the State University of New York, in Stony Brook, suggest a cure -- inserting the gene-coding for the missing protein into a culture of the patient's skin cells and grafting the treated skin back onto the patient's skin (Science, Vol 266, No 5183).
The scientists report that an experiment on mice has been successful: they took a gene that codes for apolipoprotein (apo-E), modified it so that the corresponding protein is distinguishable from its natural version, and inserted it into human skin cell culture. After the cultured cells were grafted onto mice skin, significant amounts of the modified version of apo-E were observed in the bloodstream of the mice.
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