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Gene Therapy Essay

1035 words - 5 pages

Gene therapy. These words to some seem frightening and new, but make no mistake, research has shown that gene therapy used on terrible diseases such a cystic fibrosis provide promising results to finding cures in the future (“How Does Gene Therapy Work?”). Cystic fibrosis is a terrifying hereditary condition that affects a person’s endocrine gland causing thick mucus to block one’s bronchi, pancreatic ducts, and intestines (About Cystic Fibrosis). It is a recessive trait, which means that two people who unknowingly both carry one copy of the disease could give it to their children (Genes (Higher Tier only): Recessive and dominant alleles). Unfortunately, this is a life threatening ...view middle of the document...

However, the lungs are only one of many regions that can possibly be affected by the cystic fibrosis gene. The pancreas and intestines are much harder to access. In addition, to insert normal genes into someone’s body, gene therapy calls for the use of delivery devices called vectors (“How Does Gene Therapy Work?”). Vectors are usually in the form of virus’ since they can easily infect the cell (“How Does Gene Therapy Work?”). Unfortunately, sometimes vectors can severely weaken the host’s immune system to the point of death (Learn Genetics: Gene Therapy). This is just one of the many issues gene therapy brings about.
Although the utter prospect of gene therapy is great, research shows that it raises many issues as well. Gene therapy is a very personalized approach to curing diseases which means that is can become very costly for each individual patient (Davies and Alton). This brings up the economic issue, will the high cost make gene therapy only available to the wealthy? Although researchers are working on making treatment more readily available, gene therapy still comes with a heavy price tag (Learn Genetics: Gene Therapy). However, research shows that the potential benefits are worth the wait and the price because gene therapy could possibly be the right key to unlocking how to cure diseases that have plagued the world for decades (Learn Genetics: Gene Therapy). Another issues associated with gene therapy in correlation to cystic fibrosis is moral issues. Of course gene therapy does not work on everyone. This treatment, so far, has only worked on a couple groups here and there, so is it even worth giving people affected by deadly diseases hope for a cure (Learn Genetics: Gene Therapy). This treatment is very long and expensive for people with only a limited amount of time left. Since gene therapy use is still very new and not widely available, no one even knows the long-term effects of the treatment (Learn Genetics: Gene Therapy). Again, however research shows that the risk can be worth it because those that have been cured of diseases such as cystic fibrosis have...

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