Gene Therapy Essay

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Gene Therapy Essay

“Gene therapy is a recombinant DNA procedure intended to treat disease by altering an afflicted person’s genes”. This technique could allow doctors to treat a disorder by inserting a gene into a patent’s cell, rather than doing surgery. In some instances a mutant version of a gene could be replaced with a normal allele, which could possibly correct a genetic disorder. Although, they may also be inserted just to treat a medical problem. The process of gene therapy starts with a gene from a normal human is isolated and cloned, the gene is then inserted into a vector, and the virus then is injected into the patient. The virus is then mixed with cells from the patient, the cells from the patient become genetically altered, the altered cells are injected into the patient, and the genetically altered cells produce the desired protein or hormone. Ultimately the altered gene would be inserted into cells that multiply throughout a lifetime. An ideal place to inject these altered genes is into the bone marrow which has stem cells that give rise to all the types of blood cells. If the gene therapy is successful then these new altered genes will multiply throughout the patient’s lifetime, creating the protein they are missing, and they will be cured of their disease. Gene therapy is promising for numerous diseases (such as inherited disorders, SCID, some types of cancers, and certain viral infections), although the technique can be risky because it is still under study about how safe and effective it can be. For example, SCID is a fatal inherited disease caused by a defective disease, because of the absence of this enzyme it results in the absence of the immune system. This requires the patient to remain isolated and infections by microbes can cause these patients to die, whereas the normal immune system would easily fight them off. Gene therapy has treated 20 children since 2000, for this treatment researches would periodically remove...
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