Gene Therapy: The Cure for ______________(insert.
Every commercial break we see an advertisement for a.
medicine to help suppress an illness or one to get rid.
of the symptoms, and for the last few moments of the.
advertisement the narrator rattles of dozen side effects.
that are associated with each drug. Innumerable amounts.
of time and money goes into finding cures for each.
specific health problem. There is new hope, though, with.
gene therapy. What is gene therapy? Gene therapy is.
"the alteration of an afflicted person's genes" (1). It.
is a new treatment using an artificial virus to plant.
new genes into the host in hopes that they may multiply.
and eventually take dilute the abnormal tissue from the.
affected area. Almost every disorder, disease, or.
health problem can be traced back to the presence of a.
single dysfunctional gene, from sickle cell anemia to.
achondroplasia (4). Gene therapy works by replacing a.
defective gene in a cell with an alternate gene, also.
known as an allele. The somatic cells in the cancerous.
area are treated and then multiply. These cells must be.
permanent cells in order for the treatment to be.
successful, such as bone marrow cells, which also.
contain stem cells. These cells should reproduce over.
the course of the life of the patient (1). More.
commonly, the gene is inserted in the Trojan horse of.
microbial invaders, a programmed retrovirus, in the form.
of RNA. The viral RNA with the normal alternate gene is.
inserted into the chromosome of the virus in the form of.
transcribed DNA. It is then injected into the patient.
(1). An important advantage of gene therapy is that the.
treatment can be localized. This can protect against.
any side effects in other parts of the body occurring.
after very often after the retrovirus is injected (4).
Although it is in its experimental years, gene therapy.
has shown some positive results and some negative.
effects, as does almost any type of therapy. .
Unfortunately, there has been little scientific evidence Gene Therapy: The Cure for ______________(insert.