This is an antibiotic that has figured prominently in recent news items about cases of Duchenne due to premature "stop codons." In these cases the complete gene for dystrophin is never "decoded" or translated so that this critical muscle protein is not made, or at least not made in full form. Research on mdx mice that simulate human Duchenne has shown that when gentamycin is administered, the premature stop codon is somehow ignored so that the entire gene transcript can be "read" and dystrophin can be produced. A preliminary trial on Duchenne young men is underway, and hopes are high that this will work in humans as well as it did in the model mice. Unfortunately, this treatment would only work for those instances (about 10% of all Duchenne cases) in which the gene defect is a premature stop codon.
Ken Johnson is a Collaborative Justice writer, lecturer and practitioner with former teaching experience (public and post-secondary), 15 years experience in the criminal justice system, certification from the Florida Supreme Court as a County Court Mediator and training in Restorative Justice from the College of Professional Studies at the University of West Florida. In addition, he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences from the University of West Florida and a Masters in Business Administration degree from Saint Leo University. Ken Johnson is also the author of a soon to be released book called Unbroken CirclesSM for Schools: Restoring Schools One Conflict at a Time. For his good works, Ken was commissioned in 2005 as a Kentucky Colonel.