Scientists Create Virus That Can Repair Liver Damage From Alcohol Consumption

Scientists have built a virus that was able to repair cirrhosis of the liver in mice, and could be of use to humans as well
Staff Writer
Good news for those of us who partied a little too hard in college.


Good news for those of us who partied a little too hard in college.

Getting a little tipsy every once in a while probably won’t have long-term effects on your body, but excessive binge drinking and alcohol abuse over the course of years could do some serious damage to your liver.

Scientists have actually built a virus with the ability to reverse the toxic effects of liver cirrhosis by encouraging the growth of new cells.

In a study published by researchers at the University of California, scientists were able to reverse serious liver damage in mice by introducing an adeno-associated virus (one that will not spread or cause damage), to the unhealthy liver, which in turn transformed the damaged liver cells into healthy cells, improving both the liver’s function and reduced the risks and effects of fibrosis, as well as other dangerous liver diseases.

“Part of why this works is that the liver is a naturally regenerative organ, so it can deal with new cells very well," Dr. Holger Willenbring, a professor of surgery at the University of California San Francisco, said in a press release. "What we see is that the converted cells are not only functionally integrated in the liver tissue, but also divide and expand, leading to patches of new liver tissue."

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