What is Gene Therapy?

Essay by firefox480College, UndergraduateA, November 2008

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What is Gene Therapy?

Do you have any idea about what human gene therapy is? Well, human gene therapy is a potential procedure that will be used to treat genetic diseases, as well as other diseases. Gene therapy is the process in which DNA delivers sequences, which encode specific genes, to cells with the goal of treating or curing disease (TGC, 2005). In simple terms, it is when the bad gene is replaced with a healthy gene, so the healthy gene is placed into the cells of the body. The gene can be either normal, or genetically altered. By using gene therapy we can go to the base of a disorder instead of using drugs to relieve the symptoms.

The main focus of gene therapy is on delivering a normal copy of a missing or defective gene. Today gene delivery is now being used to: replace missing or defective gene, deliver gene that catalyze the cancer cell, deliver viral genes as a form of vaccination, and deliver genes that promote new tissue growth (TGC, 2005).

Who Will Gene Therapy Be used for: Side effects?

Gene therapy will be used for the people of the future who have rare and terrible diseases. Some of these diseases include breast, ovarian, and colon cancer, heart diseases, and many more (Rubinstein, 2005). Gene therapy continues to grow. Recent studies have revealed that almost all diseases have a genetic component. In some cases, such as cystic fibrosis or hemophilia, mutations in a single gene result in a disease (TGC, 2005). This new technique has only been around for a couple of decades, and the first operation was just in 1990 to an eleven-year-old girl with an immune system disease. This girl is now fine, and living a normal life (JS, 2001).