What Is Gene Therapy?

832 WordsJan 28, 20183 Pages
What is gene therapy? It is known as an experimental technique which makes use of genes in order to help treat or prevent diseases. This is done when a doctor is able to insert a modified gene into a patient instead of having to make use of drugs and surgery. Several approaches to gene therapy have been tested such as: • Replacing a mutated gene that causes illness or disease with a healthy copy. • Taking a gene that functions improperly and making it inactive. • Introducing a new gene into the body to fight disease. Somatic gene therapy: Only somatic cells (body cells) are targeted. If the modified DNA is confined only to body cells then the genome that has been altered only effects the individual treated and not the offspring. Germline therapy: this is when an altered gene is inserted into the gametes and stays there permanently, therefore altering the genes inherited by the future generations. This is however prohibited in many countries due to ethical concerns. What is Cystic Fibrosis? Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease that causes the human body to produce a thick, sticky like mucus that ends up blocking and clogging the lungs. It leads to an infection and blocks the pancreas. This then stops digestive enzymes from reaching the small intestine where they have to digest food. It is known that the average person that has Cystic Fibrosis has a life span between 25-30 years of age. A mutation of a single gene known as the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane

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