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Gene Therapy Essay

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In September 14, 1990, a four-year-old girl named Ashanti De Silva with ADA (an inherited immune system disease) sat quietly at the National Institutes of Health in the United State, and she was the first person to get a new but controversial called Gene Therapy. The operation was only a temporary success when the case of “Jesse Gelsinger” happened. Gene Therapy is a remedy that introduces genes to target cells and replaces defective genes. It can cure diseases which cannot be cured by traditional medicines. Although Gene Therapy gives someone who is born with a genetic disease or who suffers cancer a permanent chance of being cured, it is high-risk and sometimes unethical because the failure rate is extremely high and some ethical issues like how “good” and “bad” uses of gene therapy can be distinguished have not reach a satisfying answer.
Gene Therapy gives people who suffer from genetic diseases a chance to lead a normal life. Dangerous diseases, such as AIDS, SCID, Thalassemia and ADA can be cured successfully. In September 5, 2006, two people with advanced melanoma received Gene Therapy and they got recovery soon. That is a breakthrough in cancer gene therapy. Gene Therapy uses patients own cells to cure diseases, and, therefore, no rejection to their bodies. Furthermore, patients could get permanent cure from Gene Therapy without recurrence.
Despite Gene Therapy seems magical, it is high-risk. Few people got benefits from it, and it has a low rate of success. Prior to the human trial, Batshaw and Wilson had done experiment on animals to ensure the safety. Over 20 experiments have been done on mice but only 12 of them survived at last (Sophia, M. and Kolehmainen, J.D., 2000). More seriously, complicating diseases, which ...


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...iotech/kolehmainen.html#primer [Accessed July 7, 2011]

Reuters. (2009) Gene therapy edges towards commercial reality, Genetics and Society [online] Available at: http://www.geneticsandsociety.org/article.php?id=4691 [Accessed July 7, 2011]


Tweet. Gene Therapy - Ethical Considerations in Gene Therapy, Science. J-rank [online]. Available at: http://science.jrank.org/pages/2963/Gene-Therapy-Ethical-considerations-in-gene-therapy.html [Accessed July 7, 2011]



Waters, R. Gene Therapy Takes a Turn for the Better, Business Week[online] Available at:
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_18/b4176027902498.htm [Accessed July 7, 2011]

Weiss, R. (1998), Engineering the Unborn: Another in a series of occasional articles [online]. Available at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/science/genetherapy/unborn.htm[Accessed August 18, 2011]


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