Science & Tech

What is Base Editing?

With the aid of the base editing technology, a young cancer patient with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL) has been able to beat her supposedly incurable disease.

Editing the Base

  • The language of life is bases. Our genetic code is composed of four different types of bases: adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and thymine (T).
  • The billions of bases in our DNA spell out the instructions for our body, just as letters in the alphabet make out words with meaning.
  • Base editing enables researchers to focus on a specific location in the genetic code, change the molecular makeup of just one base, transform it into another, and modify the genetic instructions.
  • This device was used by the large group of medical professionals and researchers to create a brand-new type of T-cell that could find and eliminate cancerous T-cells.


  • White blood cells known as T cells are thymus cells.
  • They originate from stem cells in the bone marrow and are a component of the immune system.
  • They may aid in the fight against cancer and protect the body from infection.
  • Also known as a thymocyte and a T lymphocyte.

How base editing benefited this teen with cancer?

  • Starting with donor-provided, healthy T-cells, doctors began about altering them.
  • The T-cell targeting mechanism was disabled in the first base edit to prevent patient body attacks.
  • The second eliminated CD7, a chemical label present on all T-cells.
  • The third edit was an invisibility cloak that stopped chemotherapy drugs from killing the cells.
  • The last step of genetic modification commanded the T-cells to search for anything in the patient’s body that had the CD7 marking, including the malignant ones, and destroy them all.
  • Because of this, the marking must be taken out of the therapy; else, it will self-destruct.
  • With the second bone marrow transplant, the patient’s immune system, including T cells, will be rebuilt if the therapy is successful.
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