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Gene Therapy To The Rescue Essay

1521 words - 6 pages

In April 2000 two babies were born with severe combined immunodeficiency disorder, which causes them to live inside protective “sterile” bubbles. Seeing this French researches removed stem cells from the infants’ marrows and put in genetically altered viruses. Two years later, the children are still healthy (Trefil). Gene therapy is where a single defective gene is replaced with a good one to treat a disease. Adding genes that cause the right proteins to be made is also the use of gene therapy. There are two types of gene therapies: somatic and germ-line. In somatic therapies, viruses are used as a vector to put in genetic material into the cells of the body. In germ-line therapies, sperm or egg cells are used (Association). Gene therapy is not just used in medicine, but also used in improving foods and crops too, such as, “the introduction of gene-spliced, pest-resistant cotton varieties in China has reduced pesticide poisonings by nearly 80 percent” (Miller). Gene therapy should be widely available for all because of its high success in treating diseases and of its great social and economic benefits.
Gene therapy has shown much success in treating diseases such as severe combined immunodeficiency disorder and blindness, so it should be available for all to use. Gene therapy can be used to treat so many diseases and there should not be any issues that stop scientists from using it to treat cancer or blindness. Gene therapy was used in clinical trials to see how it would help treat cancer, “but Gromeier’s team tamed by inserting a small piece of genetic material from a cold virus into the poliovirus genome, effectively rendering it ‘completely unable’ to cause polio… they injected the hybrid virus into mice with malignant gliomas and found that tumors were ‘eliminated by the replicating virus within days,’ and none of the mice contracted polio” (Fumento). From this quote, it is shown that in mice, gene therapy can be used and still have a successful treatment with it. Gene therapy is able to go into the cells and change the mutated gene, so that it goes back to normal and depletes the disorder from the person’s body. Gene therapy allows diseases to cease to exist in a person, and if it is a tumor, gene therapy makes the tumor just small enough that doctors are able to take it out by surgery. Just as gene therapy is able to help treat diseases, it also has many great social and economic benefits.
Gene therapy should be in use because of its many social and economic benefits such as pest-resistance cotton plants, crops with higher vitamins, and many businesses starting to invest money in gene therapy institutes. Gene therapy can let food scientists develop foods with higher nutritional value, which would help society. A good example of how food scientists are using gene therapy to their advantage is how, “varieties of soybean and canola, which have been modified with modern biotechnology to produce healthier cooking oils with less saturated fat,...

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