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Gene Therapy

Gene therapy is a approach to treating diseases by modifying a person’s genes toward a therapeutic goal. Gene therapy is being researched for its possible use as not only a treatment for the diseases a certain patient already has, but also for its possibility to prevent the formation of diseases altogether. The premise of gene therapy is based on correcting a disease at its root; fixing the abnormal genes that appear to lead to certain diseases. There are essentially two forms of gene therapy, one of which is called somatic gene therapy. Somatic gene therapy involves the manipulation of genes in cells that will be corrective to the patient but not inherited to the next generation. The other form of gene therapy is called germline gene therapy whichinvolves the genetic modification of germ cells that will pass the change on to the next generation. Little, if any, research is currently being conducted in germline intervention largely for technical and ethical reasons.Gene therapy is the most promising yet possibly detrimental medical field being studied.
Somatic gene therapy is incredibly promising and despite being extremely costly, has the possibility to save thousands upon thousands of lives.The possibilities of somatic cell treatment to solve single gene abnormalities, which cause hemophilia, Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, and sickle cell anemia, are astounding.Yet the medical world and more importantly the pharmaceutical industry and the governments of the world need to more openly accept and support the concept of somatic cell gene therapy in order for it to truly advance. This is critical, because not only do these programs need massive funding in order to do research and conduct clinical trials for this relatively new science, but also because ultimately it will be this industry that will bring gene therapies to large patient populations.
Despite all the promises of somatic gene therapy, germline gene therapy, could…

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