Lipid metabolism issues can start to cause us big problems as we get older. Familial Hypercholesterolemia, an inherited genetic disorder which causes extremely high cholesterol levels, unsurprisingly leads to significant health problems without early intervention. Although genes undoubtedly play a part in vulnerability for folks without this condition, cholesterol issues are exacerbated by dietary habits too and associated heart disease along with atherosclerosis is one of the most prolific killers in the world today.
In a spot of good news, research using an engineered 'humanised' mouse allowed testing on a model with great similarity to human biology. The 'chimeric' mice in the study developed hypercholesterolemia after being combined with faulty human liver cells containing a mutation for a receptor dealing with LDL (low density cholesterol). More importantly however, the research demonstrated that adeno-associated viral gene therapy was able to reverse the condition and produce healthy lipid metabolism once again in the little guys.
Read more at Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News