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Gene therapy

            Gene therapy is one of mankinds most controversial invention to help in the fight against disease. In this essay I will extensively explain the definition of gene therapy and the types of therapy. I will also write a brief paragraph on the history of gene therapy and how W. French Anderson proposed the first gene therapy and the first ever candidate that was used. How does gene therapy affect both society and individuals will be discussed and also the social costs to individuals and society also. Lastly I will explore both the financial costs to individuals and society and the ethical and legal issues that arise.
             Gene therapy is a medical treatment that is used to help prevent or treat a disease that affects cells by replacing, removing or introducing new genes into the body of the affected person or foetus. It is otherwise manipulating a person's genetic material. An example being the ability to add a gene to a cell to produce a specific missing protein. Gene therapy seeks to alter a gene as gene therapy researchers are trying to improve the body's natural ability to fight disease. Gene therapy can be targeted to somatic or germ cells. In somatic gene therapy the recipient's genome is changes but the change is not passed along to the next generation, which means the disease can be passed along. In germ-line gene therapy the parent's egg or sperm cell are changed with the goal of passing the changes to their offspring. Overall gene therapy is the correction of a gene defect, which directly underlies a disease, or disorder and the correction would take place in the somatic cells of the affected individuals.
             In 1987 W. French Anderson proposed the first gene therapy. Anderson encountered much critism but continued his work on gene therapy. On September 14th, 1990 researchers at the United States National Institutes Of Health performed the first gene therapy procedure. This was attempted on four-year-old Ashanti Desivla.

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