Essay on The Risks of Gene Therapy

Essay on The Risks of Gene Therapy

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Genes are made of DNA – the code of life. Everyone inherits genes from their parents and passes them to their children. (Gene Therapy- The Great Debate!) The changes in genes may cause serious problems, which we called genetic disorder. Scientists have currently identified more than 4000 different genetic disorders. The most typical gene disorders include Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (ADA-SCID) and Chronic Granulomatus Disorder (CGD), hemophilia, etc. In theory, the only method to cure genetic disorders is gene therapy, which basically means the replacement of genes in order to correct the loss or change in people’s DNA. Gene therapy has an advantage of treating incurable disease, while it also has many negative effects, such as the safety and efficacy problems and ethical issues, including gene inherit to offspring and abortion problems.

The main advantage of gene therapy is that its ability to treat the incurable diseases. In the field of genetic diseases, ADA-SCID, CGD and hemophilia are three main ones. ADA-SCID is known as the bubble boy disease. CGD is related to immune system that would lead to fungal infections which are fatal. Patients with Hemophilia are not able to induce bold bleeding. (Gene therapy for diseases, 2011) Gene therapy also has good effects on cancer treatment and neurodegenerative diseases, which include Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. Viral infections, including influenza, HIV and hepatitis can also be treats by it. (Gene therapy for diseases, 2011) According to the Science Daily, 2011, gene therapy now can apply to heart failures and neurologic diseases as well.

Moreover, gene therapy is permanent cure which means that patients do not need to suffer genetic disorder in the rest ...


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...anvalues/pdf/gene-therapy.pdf [Accessed 14 July 2011]

Bergeson, E. (1997) The Ethics of Gene Therapy [Online] Available at: http://www.ndsu.edu/pubweb/~mcclean/plsc431/students/bergeson.htm [Accessed 14 July 2011]

Safety Issues with Gene Therapy, (2011) [Online] Available at: http://scienceray.com/biology/safety-issues-with-gene-therapy/ [Accessed 14 July 2011]

Rocholl, B. Gene Therapy: Revolutionizing Medicine [Online] Available at: http://www.ndsu.edu/pubweb/~mcclean/plsc431/students/brandi.htm [Accessed 14 July 2011]

Safdar, M. (2010) Gene Therapy: Advantages and Disadvantages [Online] Available at: http://www.biotecharticles.com/Genetics-Article/Gene-Therapy-Advantages-and-Disadvantages-271.html [Accessed July 17 2011]

Gene Therapy for Diseases, [Online] Available at: http://www.asgct.org/about_gene_therapy/diseases.php [Accessed 21 August 2011]

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