Gene Therapy And Its Effects

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The world of genetics has mainstreamed into medical practice, transforming the way patients are treated. Recently, gene therapy has been propelled into the spotlight with the most recent successful clinical trial in which scientists reprogrammed ordinary cardiac cells in pigs to mirror the function of the sinoatrial node, thereby inducing a steady heartbeat. In the last few decades since its inception, gene therapy has rapidly advanced; there have been remarkable strides in its methods and an increase in the range of targetable diseases. Gene therapy is the modification of the genetic material within a cell for therapeutic purposes. It is used to treat or prevent diseases, inherited disorders, some cancers and viral infections by inserting a gene into a patient’s cell, through a viral vector as a delivery system, instead of using traditional medicine or surgery. Genes are responsible for making proteins, which in turn have a vast array of pivotal functions in an organism. In patients affected with genetic diseases or disorders, the DNA is mutated and no longer codes for a functional protein, affecting the way in which an organism appears and functions. There are different methods used to administer gene therapy: replacing a mutated gene that causes a disease with a healthy, functional gene, which is the most common approach; inactivating a mutated gene that is functioning improperly; and introducing a new gene into the body that will produce proteins and enzymes to help
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