How Genetic Engineering Can Stop Human Suffering.

1185 words - 5 pages

Genetic engineering offers so many promises of medical and scientific advancement that it is unethical for it to be banned. Genetic engineering is vital for the cure of genetic diseases such as Parkinson's. The medical discoveries that will be made during the course of cloning research will contribute to the never-ending quest for understanding ourselves and defining who we are.Scientists have been working on a genetic level never before approached. They are directly studying genes and DNA, the very building blocks of humans and the source of potentials, physical make up, and tendencies; the information that defines who we are and what we become. DNA also holds the information that we need to discover the cures for, and nature of, many complex genetic diseases that plague the human race and cause so much suffering. The answer to cancer and diabetes lie in our genes. Genetic engineering will lead us to the cure for what we now define as incurable diseases, for infertility, as well as creating another fertility option. The secret of cancer and aging are also found at this genetic level. Cloning is also capable of regenerating specific cells - spinal cord, skin, and even bone marrow from victims of leukaemia. We cannot ignore the possibilities of another "medical revolution."Many diseases, such as cystic fibrosis or hemophilia, are caused by an inherited defect in a single gene (monogenic). Monogenic inherited diseases are the most obvious place to start. By altering or replacing that gene, doctors can help that patient live a longer, healthier life. Sometimes the affected gene is non-active and needs to be replaced and other times it can be activated by altering or controlling the expression of the gene. But how do you go about altering a gene in a human being?One way is to take specific cells from the patient and introduce the altered gene into the cells in a lab setting. This process is called the ex-vivo approach or the indirect method. The corrected cells are then implanted back into the patient. The direct method, or in-vivo approach, involves injecting the patient with the therapeutic genes and letting the alterations occur within the patient's body. The in-vivo approach is now used in most cases, but several years ago, researchers were confronted with a problem. How can you direct the therapeutic genes toward the desired target cells?This involves the use of vectors. Vectors are the mechanisms that deliver the therapeutic genes to the target cells. Many vectors are modified versions of viruses. Viruses have proven to be very effective at, "targeting certain cells and delivering genome, which unfortunately leads to disease" said Wilson. He goes on to say that,"our challenge is to remove the disease causing components of the virus and insert recombinant genes that will be therapeutic to the patient." To be effective, the virus must be able to deliver the genetic material properly and effectively die. Injecting a patient with a virus can be a...

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