Marfan syndrome is a condition in which your body's connective tissue is abnormal. Connective tissue helps support all parts of your body. It also helps control how your body grows and develops. Marfan syndrome most often affects the connective tissue of the heart and blood vessels, eyes, bones, lungs, and covering of the spinal cord. Because the condition affects many parts of the body, it can cause a number of complications. In some cases, the complications are life threatening.
Marfan syndrome is a genetic disorder. A mutation, or change, in the gene that controls how the body makes fibrillin causes Marfan syndrome. Fibrillin is a protein that plays a major role in your body’s connective tissue. Most people who have Marfan syndrome inherit it from their parents. If you have Marfan syndrome, you have a 50 percent chance of passing the altered gene on to each of your children. In about 1 in 4 cases, Marfan syndrome occurs because of a spontaneous mutation. Thus, the affected person is the first in their family to have the condition.
Scientists have figured out how to modify CRISPR's basic architecture to extend its reach beyond the genome and into what's known as the epigenome -- proteins and small molecules that latch onto DNA and control when and where genes are switched on or off.