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

Beating Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Syndrome (Scid)

1224 words - 5 pages

Imagine living your entire life contained within a plastic bubble. Contact from the outside world, including your parents, is lethal. Rather than feeling the warm touch of a human hand, the clammy cold of laboratory gloves comforts you to sleep. Is this living or this surviving? You make the call.

SCIDs is an acronym for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Syndrome. Persons born with SCIDs lack the ability to fight off infections. SCIDs creates a situation in which the common cold is just as deadly as pneumonia.

This family of diseases is obviously debilitating and life-threatening. That is why finding a cure is imperative. This disease is not contagious, it is genetic and is thus acquired through the simple role of the genetic dice.

There is absolutely nothing we can do about this sad syndrome, or is there...

We can look to gene therapy: an exciting and revolutionary new field of research and medicine which may reveal the key to unlocking a myriad of genetic diseases.

This paper will explore the problems posed by SCIDs and the answer offered by Marina Cavazzana-Calvo and Salima Hacein-Bey. Their work in gene therapy has great potential towards bursting the bubble on SCIDs.

Immune System Introduction

So, you ask, what does it mean to have SCID? Well, in order to answer this question, we have to go through a quick tour of the immune system.

The immune system of the human body is comprised of a vast array of cells that fight off diseases (antigens) that are harmful to the well-being of the body. In an individual with a properly functioning immune system, the body has multiple genes that encode specific instructions for the proper design and function of the cells of the immune system.

The immune system has two different arms: the cellular response system and the humoral response system. The main cell in the immune system is the T-cell. There are several types of T-cells, two of which are cytotoxic T-cells and helper T-cells. Cytotoxic T-cells kill cells infected with a virus (cyto-cell, toxic-deadly). Helper T-cells are signal cells in the immune system and will be discussed in detail later. Natural killer cells are also very important; they "naturally" attack antigens without having to recognize them.

The other major cells are B-cells. B-cells produce and secrete antibodies, the cells that attach to invading bacteria and cause them to be destroyed.

The humoral response system is composed of B-cells while the cellular response system is composed of cytotoxic T-cells. The helper T-cell, however, is very important to both parts of the immune system.

The Almighty Helper T-cell

It can be said that there is a war going on within your body. Your immune system is fighting antigens at all times to keep your body free of viruses and bacteria. Using this analogy, we can say that our humoral and cellular response systems are like the Army and the Navy of our immune system. With two different...

Find Another Essay On Beating Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Syndrome (SCID)

The Engineering of Human Genetics in Dreams and Nightmares

1519 words - 6 pages breakthrough and holds the potential to create great change on humanity. The first successful genetic modification aimed to eliminate a gene responsible for severe combined immunodeficiency disorder (SCID). However, the modification failed; by 2007 forty percent of the involved patients had developed leukemia. Though, to date, gene therapy has helped restore the immune systems of over twenty children with (SCID). The modification of human genetics also

Human Genetic Engineering: Dreams and Nightmares

1418 words - 6 pages regarding the ethics of the practice. Human genetic engineering holds the potential to affect great change on the human species. The first successful gene therapy trials aimed to remove a gene responsible for severe combined immunodeficiency disorder (SCID). Unfortunately, by 2007, forty percent of these patients had been diagnosed with leukemia . However, to date, gene therapy has restored the immune systems of over 17 children with SCID. Human

Genetic Engineering: Power of Gene Therapy

807 words - 3 pages The Power of Gene Therapy Each day as our technology advances, we become aware of new diseases and disorders. We also find effective ways to alleviate a number of these problems. In the last decade, gene therapy has been found to treat a portion of life-threatening illnesses such as Cystic Fibrosis, Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID), and Alzheimer's disease. Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease that affects the exogenous

Describe How a Gene Encoding a Therapeutic Protein Could Be Cloned into a Vector to Allow Expression

2054 words - 9 pages encourages binding with the anions in DNA, creating a liposome with DNA inside it (Balazs, 2011). Liposomes are generally very safe and may be used to target certain cells plus, they have a high expression level. Although, liposomes generally only last for a short time. Several inheritable diseases could be treated with gene therapy, such as, Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) when the body does not possess a fully functioning immune system

Genetic engineering can be beneficial in the modern world

2204 words - 9 pages 6 patients with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) in Italy. Severe Combined Immunodeficiency is a very serious type of genetic disorder that involves the lack of antibodies which greatly weaken the immune system making it prone to foreign invasions. All 6 patients were cured of the disease and had no side effects after the addition of a gene named ADA to the patient’s bone marrow cells. This was the first documented cure of this type of

The Causes and Effects of Down Syndrome

1241 words - 5 pages Down syndrome, also known as trisomy 21, occurs when a child is born with three copies chromosome 21, as you can see in Figure 1. This can be caused by three different processes; nondisjunction, mosaicism, or translocation. Nondisjunction occurs during the reduction of chromosomes, from 46 to 23, after the egg and sperm have combined, causing one parent to pass on 24 instead of 23. In the case of Down syndrome, the extra chromosome is chromosome

The Irreversible Damage Caused by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

950 words - 4 pages , impulsiveness and lack of judgment have a severe impact on the child's overall development. Children with behavior problems also do worse than normal children in school. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome children have problems paying attention, score lower in mathematics and spelling, and have lower I.Q scores. Not only do these defects get worse as the child ages, the vicious cycle of alcohol abuse is also very likely to continue. Fetal Alcohol syndrome

Stem Cells

2697 words - 11 pages Children in Paris succeeded in treating two infants diagnosed with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disease (SCID), a life-threatening degenerative disease caused by defects on the male (X) chromosome.5 The team extracted "adult" stem cells from the children's bone marrow, manipulated the cells in the laboratory to replace the damaged gene with a functioning gene, and then re-injected the cells back into the bone marrow. The repaired cells

Tissue Transplant: Bone Marrow

896 words - 4 pages , and platelets that allow the blood to clot. Lack of white blood cells was the problem of the first patient of the bone marrow transplant who was an infant with a severe combined immunodeficiency disease.The treatment of the severe combined immunodeficiency disease was treated by the first bone marrow transplantation in 1968 and took place at the University of Minnesota by Robert A. Good, MD, and his colleagues. The idea of bone marrow transplant

Gene Therapy Saves Lives

1995 words - 8 pages combined immunodeficiency, or SCID. The disease lacks a gene in charge of the body's immune system called adenosine deaminase. Tim could be helped through a process called gene therapy, but he won't because there is too much debate on the ethnicity of gene therapy; too much even to save his life.       The use of gene therapy to prevent illness and disease by changing a person's genetic makeup is a good use of science. Gene therapy is an

Human Gene Therapy

1901 words - 8 pages suffering from severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) was the first to undergo gene therapy. White blood cells were removed from the girl and the cells were inserted with normal copies of the defective gene and returned into the girls circulation. Her condition improved with four treatments and follow-up treatments (Anderson, 1995). Cystic fibrosis (CF), the most common fatal genetic disease among Caucasians in the United States, afflicts about

Similar Essays

Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disorder Analysis

1845 words - 7 pages Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disorder (SCID) is a rare condition in which those affected have little to no immune system. This is because “some of the cells in the immune system that fight infections (T cells and B cells) are missing or do not work well” (Puck). As a result, they are extremely susceptible to a wide variety of infections from viruses, bacteria, germs, etc. “There are about 100 different types of SCID (Puck).” The two most

A Look At Gene Therapy Essay

1697 words - 7 pages , 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 ( There was success with

Gene Therapy And Genetic Engineering: Should It Be Approved In The Us?

3126 words - 13 pages metabolic disease and is not yet FDA approved in the United States. Over twenty years ago, severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) was the first condition treated with gene therapy. “Earlier this year, three children with a degenerative enzyme disorder were successfully treated using a modified lentivirus along with three with an immune disorder called Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome. Promising results have also been seen in degenerative disease

History Of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (Aids)

799 words - 4 pages Introduction Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) made its first appearance in 1981. Two years later, in 1983, HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) was found to be the cause of the syndrome and after that commenced an immense search towards finding appropriate therapy for this fatal disease. The first drug that was apporoved and licensed by FDA was the former created 3’-azido-2’,3’-dideoxythymidine (also called zidovudine, or AZT) after