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What Is Gene Therapy? Essay

1960 words - 8 pages

Human beings are biological organisms that are all subject to disease. Disease is caused by infections which have various causes themselves. Infections may be caused by bacteria, in accidents or injuries, or even by abnormalities or idiosyncrasies from our genetic code. That is where gene therapy comes in. Gene therapy is the replacement, or insertion, of an infected gene with a genetically altered and new healthy gene. The uses of gene therapy can open doors to many new cures for genetic diseases. It could be a cure for almost any abnormality as well. Therefore, with the help of gene therapy, human beings can benefit and even prolong their existence by preventing fatal diseases in future generations of families.
Gene therapy is the insertion of normal or genetically altered genes into cells usually to replace defective or diseased genes in the body. By using gene therapy, doctors can go to the source of the disorder or problem instead of prescribing a patient a countless number of drugs (Hogarth 1). Gene therapy was designed to introduce new and corrected genes to compensate for any abnormal genes. If a mutated gene causes a protein to be missing or to fail, gene therapy is a way to inject a new and normal copy of the correct gene to revitalize the function of the lost protein (Genetics Home Reference 1). With the help of medical advances in technology, gene therapy has gone from the idea stage, to technology development and laboratory research, to clinical trials for various disorders (ASGCT 2). It was not until the last five years that advances and trials of this new innovation had occurred (2). Gene therapy is currently being tested for results in cancer and other acquired diseases such as HIV or the flu. However, this therapy has been proven to be successful with Chronic Granulomatus Disorder, Severe Combined Immune Deficiency, and blindness (2).
Through the years gene therapy has continually improved and progressed in its development. It has made its way into becoming another type of cure or therapeutic option for certain diseases. Gene therapy can even be used to help with specific disorders, such as a genetic disease called Chronic Granulomatous Disorder, for example. Chronic Granulomatus Disorder is a disease located in the immune system that causes the person’s ability to fight off bacterial and fungal infections to fail. (ASGCT 1) The inability of the immune system to protect itself from bacteria can be very fatal to the body. In Germany, scientists tested and treated two patients using gene therapy. Successfully, they were able to give them the necessary genes needed to protect their immune systems to have full protection of infectious bacteria (1). Another example of a disease curable by gene therapy is Serve Combined Immune Deficiency. It affects children that have been born with an ineffective immune system and are very susceptible to infections. The only cure is to have a bone marrow transplant from a matched...

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