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Gene Therapy

Essay by   •  December 17, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  2,633 Words (11 Pages)  •  1,778 Views

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Gene Therapy

Gene Therapy

Thesis statement: There is a treatment called gene therapy that could possibly be the cure for those diseases that are now deadly but there are numerous possible problems.

I. Introduction

A. John Doe Story

B. Thesis Statement

II. The beginning of Gene therapy

A. The definition of gene therapy

B. A short history (founders)

1. Gregor Mendel

2. Charles Darwin

3. Steven Rosenberg

III. AAV2-Vector

A. The search

B. What it is

C. What it does

D. Other vectors

IV. Jesse Gelsinger

A. His background

B. The possible answer, Gene Therapy

C. What happened in the end

V. Other patients who suffered from gene therapy

A. Jennifer Puck

B. The second child

VI. The question of ethics

A. Cons

1. Living longer

2. Cancer

B. Pros

1. Living longer

2. Cure

VII. Possible Downfall of Gene Therapy

A. French Anderson

B. Kathy High

VIII. Survivors

A. ByardпÑ--Ð...s Grandson

1. ByardпÑ--Ð...s Research

2. Possibilities

3. GrandsonпÑ--Ð...s disease

B. Maurice Kunt

C. Summarize the future of gene therapy

IX. Conclusion

A. Return to John Doe

B. Return to thesis

Gene Therapy

John Doe was a man from a small town in Arkansas. He was diagnosed with a form of cancer when he was fifty-four. The doctors said that they couldnпÑ--Ð...t do anything because the cancerous tumor had grown too large. If they had found it earlier than they had, they could have easily removed it. John was given an estimate of six months to a year to live. This made John determined to find a cure and fast. He read every medical magazine there was, and searched the Internet day and night. To JohnпÑ--Ð...s relief he came upon a valuable piece of information. It was an article on gene therapy and how it had already helped many people to survive the diseases they had. John never gave up hope and he looked even further into gene therapy. There is a treatment for people like John called gene therapy that could possibly be the cure for those diseases that are now deadly but there are numerous possible problems.

Gene therapy is a branch of genetics. Genetics is the branch of biology that is dealing with the way different genes affect the way someoneпÑ--Ð...s physical characteristics may look. Gene therapy, on the other hand, is the reconstruction of a possibly damaged gene. Without some of the worldпÑ--Ð...s greatest geneticists and general scientists this amazing idea would be only that, an idea.

One of the first scientists to record his information about his ideas on genetics was Gregor Mendel. Mendel realized that there was a rational explanation for the reason some traits would skip a generation. Mendel also discovered the presence of a dominant gene. When looking into the dominant gene, Mendel, found that there was also a recessive gene that was present. In his studies he also found that if two parents have the same recessive gene then the offspring would have that recessive trait (Yount 15)

Another one of the forefathers to gene therapy was Charles Darwin. He realized that although animals are in different species, the animals in all species differ. Darwin was the scientist that discovered evolution by natural selection. Evolution by natural selection is when animals choose their mates by their characteristics. It occurs in humans

most of the time. We look for one with certain characteristics like attitude or strength. We do this because we realize our offspring will be similar to us (Yount.14)

The very first person to perform a type of gene therapy was Steven Rosenberg. He created the first type of gene therapy treatment and he also was the one to get permission to follow through with his treatment. Some of the current genetic therapists say that all the known diseases have a genetic base that can be inherited. If a disease is inherited than it involves a damaged gene that can possibly be replaced or fixed using gene therapy. They also say that mutated genes cause some 4,000 genetic diseases (Motavalli).

A vector is needed in order to go through with the gene therapy process. This vector is similar to an envelope. A vector is simply a transportation device for the new gene. Its purpose is to get the reconstructed gene to the right spot without being stopped by the immune system. When choosing a vector a scientist must find one that is strong enough to get past the immune system but not strong enough to give the patient another disease. If a scientist does choose the wrong vector the patient could go into shock and all of their organs would start to fail. The vector must also be able to carry genes, which are put into cells (Friend)

The vector must be injected into the body and then it will travel to what it thinks is the correct spot to drop its cargo. The vector does not always go to the correct spot. If this happens the patient could get a cancer type disease because the gene that was in the vector combined with the wrong gene (Friend).

The AAV2 is the vector that is currently being used in most of the treatments

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