Gene Therepy

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"Gene Therapy: Pro's and Con's for Use in Our Society" Bio 123 General Biology Jonathan Jones February 6, 2002 Gene therapy is a scientific experiment that has proven itself in recent years to having the potential of curing many of today's deadly diseases. This process was first proven successful in 1990. This recent discovery has opened many doors for scientist. It has provided hope for both patients and doctors to finding cures to some of the most common diseases.

What is gene therapy? Gene therapy is a procedure in which a healthy gene is used to modify a damaged or unhealthy gene. This process is not only lengthy but also difficult. It can be broken down into five steps.

1. The gene is designed.

2. It is then manufactured into a drug and must be approved by the FDA.

3. The gene is directed to the correct cells in the body.

4. It then finds a safe place in chromosomes. It must do this without disturbing any of the surrounding genes.

5. Finally, the gene is controlled.

(Cures 1.) It was at the National Institute of Health that three doctors treated a four-year-old child for adenosine deaminase deficiency (ADA). Dr William French Anderson, Dr Michael Blaese, and Dr Ken Culver made medical history in 1990 by successfully treating her with gene therapy. This exciting discovery eventually became controversial. The ethics of the procedure was questioned and still is to this day. (Eisner 2.) Gene therapy seems to be just the beginning at finding cures to deadly illnesses such as cancer, epilepsy, and hemophilia. It has proven itself to be successful when tested in labs on animals. Some of society, however, feels that experimenting with DNA and replicating of genes is unethical. Those who believe so, argue that the genetic...