Gene Therapy is Revolutionizing Medicine

Powerful Essays
Gene Therapy is Revolutionizing Medicine

"We used to think that our fate was in our stars, but now we know that, in large measure, our fate is in our genes, "quotes James Watson. This fate that Watson is talking about is contained in our genes, and deals with a new technique, gene therapy. Gene therapy is revolutionizing the world of medicine. Many physicians are predicting that in twenty years gene therapy may change the practice of medicine from a treatment-based to a prevention-based practice. Our future is l ocked away inside of our genes. Gene therapy is unlocking these doors. Researchers are starting to move away from developing new drugs, and towards finding an ultimate solution. That solution is to use gene therapy as a treatment for many genetic diseas es. Researchers hope that in the coming years, every genetic disease will have gene therapy as its treatment. Gene therapy could be the last therapy that the human race will ever need.

What is Gene Therapy?

So what is this mystical new wonder called gene therapy? Gene therapy is the introduction of genes into existing cells to prevent or cure a wide range of diseases. For example, suppose a brain tumor is forming by rapidly dividing cancer cells. The reason this tumor is forming is due to some defective or mutated gene. The therapy chosen for this case would be to use a herpes virus that has had its virulence removed, rendering it harmless. The virus is still abl e to insert its genetic material into the target cells. The virus is then taken and injected into mouse cells, where it makes additional copies of itself. These mouse cells, now containing the virus, are then injected into the brain containing the tumor . Once inside the brain, the virus seeks out t...

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...over more genes and their functions, the potential of this treatment is limitless. Our genome is the blueprint of our body. The key to our future is locked in our genome. As researchers start to understand this blueprint, our lives will be forever changed. We now know our fate is indeed in our genes.

Literature Cited

Bloch, Hannah, Cray, Dan, and Sadlowski, Christine. 1996. Keys to the kingdom. Pp. 24-29. Time Magazine.

Brody, JE. 1993 Sept. Gene therapy hold promise of medical miracles, but possible pitfalls cause worries. New York Times.

Herman, R. 1991 Dec. Gene therapy. Pp. 89-91. Mirabella.

Phillips, P. 1991. Gene therapy getting its chance. Pp. 46-47. Medical World News.

Verma, IM. 1993. Gene therapy. Pp. 78-85. Scientific American Medicine: Special Issue.

Weiss, R. 1994 Oct. Gene therapy at a crossroads. Pp. 13-15. Washington Post Health.
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