"When I was young I set out to change the world.
When I grew older I perceived that this was too ambitious,
so I set out to change my state.
This too, I realized as I grew older, was too ambitious,
so I set out to change my town.
When I realized that I could not do even this, I tried to change my family.
Now, as an old man I know that I should have started by changing myself.
If I had started with myself, maybe then I would have succeeded
in changing my family, the town, or even the state-
and who knows, maybe the world."

August 30, 2016

Things in another world

The world of things not easily seen, e.g. viruses and bacteria. Not all bad.

Hepatitis B virus (HBV). A thing that infects people's liver. Chronic one is particularly complicated to deal with. When symptoms found, it will be quite late if not too late. This thing is related to people close to me and another reason. Then I came across this #NOhep thing. So try learn what's new to deal with HBV.

This is what happen when it gets inside the body. Basically, HBV virus takes over its host (living cells), the virus puts in its DNA with instructions for getting its host to work. The viral DNA can ask to build several things that constitute the HBV virus. Then the virus spread. Ideally, we can stop it if say there is a way to modify the viral DNA.

Look, bacteria has a way to do that easily when defending themselves. They produce a thing to target a certain part of the viral DNA, and another thing that recognizes it and makes a DNA break. Then, genetic modifications (or mutations) occur. The thing changed. So the viral activities in bacteria can be stopped. That defence system is famously known as CRISPR/Cas.

Imagine we introduce the genetic codes that can setup CRISPR/Cas things in animal cells. And that system can be designed to target and modify a certain DNA part essential for HBV activities. As reported (this paper), this worked pretty well in animal liver cells (in a plastic dish) and mice infected by HBV. The viral DNA were modified and the essential thing produced by HBV-infected cells was reduced. But wait. Will this work inside human body safely?? How to get it done then. Maybe hopeful to eliminate HBV infection.