DART VADAR alters the deal for precision RNA-based therapies
First identified in 1961, mRNA therapies are nothing new, and researchers have been trying to master targeted treatments using mRNA for decades. Now, scientist Jim Collins, Faculty lead at MIT Jameel Clinic, and his colleagues at Harvard Wyss Institute believe they're on the cusp of the next stage with the development of a novel engineered RNA sense-and-respond circuit named Detection and Amplification of RNA Triggers via ADAR (DART VADAR), which seeks out a specific molecular marker of disease for highly specialized treatment. DART VADAR works by detecting small amounts of RNA molecules of target interest within a given sample, even when mixed with larger amounts of other RNA molecules. The development could have important applications in medical diagnosis and treatment, allowing early disease detection. The technology is still in its early stages of development, but Jim Collins and his colleagues are optimistic about its potential.