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In mid-April, researchers described how eight infants with X-linked severe combined immune deficiency (SCID-X1), better known as ‘bubble boy’ disease, were cured by a gene therapy. Scientists from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) used an autologous lentiviral gene therapy to deliver a functional interleukin receptor common gamma chain gene to the patients’ hematopoietic stem cells ex vivo. Once transplanted, the cells restored patients’ immune systems, including T cells, B cells and natural killer cells (N. Engl. J. Med.380, 1525–1534, 2019).