Implications of and Attitudes toward Gene Therapy

914 WordsFeb 24, 20184 Pages
There is only one viable technique in gene therapy to humans – adding a gene to replace improperly functioning gene through a vector. Its basic mechanics is administering the DNA to the patient. Introduce the DNA to the diseased cell by a genetically engineered virus and express a protein. This can be done by injecting it to the bloodstream. The therapeutic genes are hoped to genetically alter the cells for normal functioning. Gene therapy involves vectors, such as virus and bacteria, because a gene directly inserted into the cell is usually non-functional. A carrier, called a vector, is usually a genetically engineered virus because it infects the cell to deliver the gene by integrating their genetic material into the chromosomes. There are two approaches considered: Somatic gene therapy and germline gene therapy. In somatic gene therapy, the therapeutic genes are transmitted into the somatic cells (non-sex cells) of the body. Therapeutic genes compensate for abnormal genes to produce beneficial protein. Gene therapy will be restricted to the individual patient. Any genetic modifications and its effects will not be passed on to the offspring. In germline gene therapy, it is the germ cell (egg/sperm cell) that is modified by administration of the functional genes. The germ cells will then form a zygote, which will undergo cell division. Cells in the organism will then have the modified gene. Thus, the genetic modification is integrated into the genome. The
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