A Research Study On Gene Therapy

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2.1. Gene Therapy
Gene therapy involves the introduction of genetic material into cells in order to treat or prevent disease. Classical gene therapy has been described as “using DNA as a drug”, in which DNA carrying genes is transferred into cells by artificial means. After decades of research, this approach has now been successfully used to treat a number of conditions in humans. This section presents the historical background to the development of gene therapy.
Genes as theoretical units of inheritance were first described around 1900 by the botanists Erich von Tschermak, Hugo de Vries, and Carl Correns based on their observations of phenotypic segregation ratios in plants. In 1911, Thomas Hunt
Morgan’s studies of sex-linked traits in fruit flies led him to suggest that the genes responsible were carried on the sex chromosomes and that all genes were associated with particular chromosomes.
Although the physical location of genes was known to be chromosomes, for decades the biochemical nature of genes was controversial. Chromosomal proteins were a leading candidate owing to their complex chemical compositions. The problem was solved by Oswald Avery in 1944 when he isolated a chemical ‘transforming principle’ able to stably transform a strain of Pneumococcus Type II (small, rough colonies) into
Pneumococcus Type III (large, smooth colonies) (2). He identified the transforming principle as “sodium desoxyribonucleate”, or in modern nomenclature, DNA. Avery’s work was later
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