Genetic Therapy And Its Effect On Our Understanding Of Anatomy And Medicine

1770 WordsAug 1, 20168 Pages
¬¬¬Throughout the duration of humanity, illnesses have affected millions of lives. To combat these viruses, the study of medicine was born and since quality of life has improved drastically. From simple herbalism used by ancient apothecaries and shamans, all the way up to advanced synthetic antibiotic tablets used today, medicine is evolving. As such this snowball effect in our understanding of anatomy and medicine seems to continue in its upward trend as scientists are beginning to experiment with ‘Genetic Therapy’, altering genes in order to cure once incurable genetic diseases such as many types of cancer. While the promising experimental tenure of this miracle therapy is promising, we must consider the practical, economical, moral and ethical factors that arrive with it. First, in order to understand what Gene Therapy is, we must first realise what genes are themselves, and the role they present in the body. Genes are found in Deoxyribonucleic acid (more commonly known as DNA). DNA is made up of three modules: a nitrogenous base, a sugar group and a phosphate group (Refer to Diagram A). DNA exists within a chromosome, and is found in almost every single cell in the body. There are 46 chromosomes (23 pairs) in a healthy human (Refer to Diagram B). Genes are commonly described as the genetic blueprints of our body, telling the body how to develop during growth; they determine the person’s phenotypes (physical characteristics), i.e.; the difference between black hair and
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