Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that a single treatment to inhibit a gene called PTB in mice converts native astrocytes, brain support cells, into neurons that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. As a result, the mice’s Parkinson’s disease symptoms disappear. The treatment works like this: The researchers developed a noninfectious virus that carries an antisense oligonucleotide sequence — an artificial piece of DNA designed to specifically bind the RNA coding for PTB, thus degrading it, preventing it from being translated into a functional protein and stimulating neuron development. The study is published this week in NatureLearn More