This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

A Look At Gene Therapy Essay

1697 words - 7 pages

Would you consider altering your DNA if it could save your life? Scientist have been working on gene therapy since the 1970's, this biotechnological form of medicine is the attempt to medically modify cells to help eliminate or prevent diseases by correcting defective genes. Imagine the possibilities of having your DNA tested for heritable diseases and being able to eliminate such diseases from your future.
From 1990-2003 the Department of Energy coordinated a project called the Human Genome Project, in which it asked, "Why screen for individuals at increased risk for genetic diseases who do not exhibit symptoms? On the pro or benefit side, we want to reduce morbidity and mortality. The idea is, if we could find the disease early before symptoms were present, we could avoid much pain and suffering by modifying the course of the disease through treatment and changes in lifestyle; we could increase the life span and perhaps provide a better quality of life." (Oak Ridge National Laboratory [ORNL], 2002). Although gene therapy has been studied and trialed it is still in its infancy, as it has yet to be fully approved for widespread use. Looking at the benefits and risks, along with social concern, what is the future of gene therapy?
The funding of the Human Genome Project paved the way for future gene therapies. This project allowed scientist to research the makeup of the body and understand the DNA sequence. Gene therapy is the modification of a gene and introducing the modified gene back into the body. The modified gene has to be delivered by a vector, which is a way of transferring genetic material to a targeted cell. the CISN Cancer website, provides information on vectors such as, stem-cells and liposome's, and also viral vectors; Retroviruses, Adenoviruses, Adeno-associated viruses, and Herpes simplex viruses. (Cancer Information and Support Network [CISN], N.d.). These vectors can be used to transfer the altered gene, but it must work in conjunction with gene therapy, either somatic or germ-line therapy.
Gene therapy can be delivered through two methods, ex vivo or somatic therapy and in vivo or germ-line therapy. Somatic therapy is the method of gene therapy that can be used on existing human beings, as in it is the modification of genes and introducing them back into the body. According to the Genetics & Public Policy Center, Somatic gene therapy has only been successful a few times during a clinical trial, in treating the X-chromosome linked severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome (X-SCID). The trial was somewhat unsuccessful for some of the children who participated, as they developed leukemia (dnapoicy.org). There was success with a 4 year old and 9 year old, who underwent the same procedure for SCID, and both are alive today. (McCain, 2005).
Somatic therapy does not affect future generations because the modified genes are not passed on, as it does in germ-line therapy. The purpose of Human Germline Genetic Modification...

Find Another Essay On A Look at Gene Therapy

Cystic Fibrosis: A Case For Gene Therapy

752 words - 3 pages this scientists could set about determining the base sequence of the gene and this investigate the problem at the molecular level. Presently, scientists in the US have succeeded in replacing the faulty gene in human cells in a test tube. It is predicted that gene therapy may soon treat the disease. The purpose of Gene therapy is to replace the defective gene with a healthy one. We could now remove cells from the pancreas of a person with Cystic

A Look at Arthrogryposis Essay

830 words - 3 pages very helpful in improving the range of motion of the affected joints. Parents are encouraged help continue the therapy program at home on a daily basis. Other solutions are the use of splints. Splints are made to help the stretching exercises to increase range of motion. They are sometimes used to passively hold a joint in place so that the tendon can be stretched and the joint can be moved into a place that it wasn't able to move in before. Casting

A Look at Bipolar Disorder

1379 words - 6 pages not yet identified the gene, it is believed to be hereditary and likely runs in the family (Hopkins Medicine). The precise cause of bipolar disorder is not known, but there are a few components that to may lead to bipolar episodes. Experts believe bipolar people have biological changes in their brain and an imbalance in brain chemicals (neurotransmitters). Hormone imbalance is also believed to be a cause of episodes. People that have a blood

A Look at American Poetry

1454 words - 6 pages , etc. All of this information is for practical purposes; we may be able to grasp their lifestyle, however not their soul… a poem can turn this living creature into something majestic; or the total opposite. Behind poetry are experiences: beauty and ugly, customary and weird, good and bad. While I may look at a poem about hunting as beautiful and wonderful, my girlfriend would probably read the same poem and think it was disturbing and

A close look at Cloning

1181 words - 5 pages that the genes in a newborn baby clone could be - say - 30 years old or more on the day of birth. Many attempts at animal cloning produced disfigured monsters with severe abnormalities. So that would mean creating cloned embryos, implanting them and then destroying (presumably) those that look imperfect as they grow in the womb. However some abnormalities may not appear till after birth. A cloned cow recently died several weeks after birth with a

A Look at Jun Kaneko

1172 words - 5 pages and white lines dripping down the surface. The space between these lines creates a hypnotic pattern that the viewer gets sucked into. The third Dango is quite different from the first two in the sense that the lines only run vertically and seemingly disappear into the black background that they are painted on. The fourth Dango is the most eye catching, because of its colorful appearance and intricate lines. When you look at the fourth Dango and

A Closer Look at Character

1176 words - 5 pages English 102A Closer Look at CharacterIn any literay work, it is absolutely essential to have characters, whether major or minor. It is also necessary to develop these characters through out the story. Character development gives the reader insight to the more important meanings or lessons of the story. These lessons are usually brought out by the events that take place within the story. Looking at Guy De Maupassant's piece "The Necklace", we see

A Sociological Look at JAWS

1840 words - 7 pages A Sociological Look at JAWS The movie I choose to review was Jaws, which is one of my favorites and a timeless classic. A traditional story about man against beast takes place on an island that depends on its summer tourist business. When the summer season in threatened by a series of shark attacks three men are sent out to track down a great white shark. The three main (human) characters are Brody (Roy Scheider), the police

A First Look At Death

2203 words - 9 pages just thinking Dad." He left it at that and said, "Let's go inside and eat. I'm sure your mother and sister are inside waiting for us." When we got inside, I could see my sister pouring milk for all of us. My mom was in the kitchen finishing up dinner. Usually she would say welcome home to my dad and give him a kiss, but that was not the case today. Instead, all they did was make eye contact and stared at each other. After a few moments of

A Closer Look at Pain

1183 words - 5 pages PAGE [Type text] [Type text] [Type text] A Closer Look at Pain: ProstaglandinsMost health conditions involve some form of pain, whether it is a toothache or maybe it is as serious as something like cancer. Nevertheless, the sensible thing to do is to depict the cause behind this feeling of pain and find a solution to alleviate it. For centuries, natural remedies have been proven to alleviate pain such as white willow bark (Salix alba) and

A Closer Look at Mimas

1522 words - 6 pages scientists have researched. Mimas shape is not quite big enough to hold a round shape. Mimas is known to be the smallest known astronomical body that is thought to be rounded in shape due to the result of its self-gravitation. Mimas orbits at a range of 115,280 miles from Saturn in a time frame of 22 hours 37 minutes. Mimas’ orbit makes it the closest major moon of all moons of Saturn. Mimas is known to be tidally locked to Saturn and has one side

Similar Essays

A Common Sense View Of Therapy: A Look At Person Centered Therapy

681 words - 3 pages also aids in promoting healthy self-images and concepts. Predominantly significant to me is the focus on the positive aspects of the client's lives and personality.I am a big advocate for personal responsibility. I think this theory incorporates this responsibility into the therapy process. It makes perfect sense to me that the basic characteristics emphasize the importance of the client's perception of how things are. Perception is all we have at

Painting What We See Within: A Look At The Insides Of Art Therapy

1137 words - 5 pages Painting What We See Within: A Look at the Insides of Art Therapy One of the most memorable experiences I had last summer was visiting the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. (3)At this museum, professional artists had created none of the works hanging on the walls. Visionary art is an individualized expression by people with little or no formal training; the rules of art as a school did not apply here. While I was there

A New Future: Gene Therapy Essay

1407 words - 6 pages own health. What is gene therapy? First discovered in the middle of the 1970's researchers were able to isolate certain genes from DNA. During the 1980's the term gene therapy came about and propelled research further. The definition of gene therapy is a "technique where the genes causing a defect are themselves substituted by correct genes in the patient to cure a disease" (Macer, 1990). At birth each of us receives a set of chromosomes

Human Gene Therapy: A Revolution In Progress

1095 words - 5 pages patients are well now (one man only partially recovered), but the scientists are waiting to examine the long-term affects (“Gene therapy leukemia treatment successful,” 2011). Looking at these results, scientists have begun to research ways to treat other types of cancer. Gene therapy also has been helpful in treating other diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s. Genetic disorders are only eliminated when a normal gene is