Genetics Portfolio - Genetics Portfolio Gene Therapy What...

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Genetics Portfolio
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Gene Therapy What is it? Gene therapy is the insertion of genes into one’s tissues and cells in order to treat a disease (Wikipedia-Gene Therapy). In most cases, the good gene is inserted into the genome to replace the disease-causing gene. To deliver the uninfected gene to the target cells, a carrier molecule called a vector is used. Today, the most widespread vector is a virus that been genetically altered to have the ability to carry normal human DNA. Applications: Cancer - Scientists are currently developing new methods which can be used to fight cancer. We can now kill tumor cells by inserting a "sensitivity" or suicide' gene into the tumor as well as enhance immune cells to increase anti-tumor activity. AIDS - In a recent study, immune cells were removed from the patients' bodies, modified with a disabled AIDS virus known as a lentivirus, and then intravenously returned. The genetically altered cells disseminated anti-HIV material and prevented HIV from reproducing. Researchers are now of trying to introduce genes straight into human cells, focusing on diseases caused by single-gene defects, such as cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, muscular dystrophy and sickle cell anemia. However, this has been much harder than modifying simple bacteria, primarily because of the problems involved in carrying large sections of DNA and delivering it to the right site on the comparatively large human genome. In my opinion, the use of gene therapy to fight major diseases such as cancer and AIDS seems very promising. If we can continue researching these terrible diseases, we might eventually find a cure, possibly by using gene therapy.
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Biological Warfare Xenotransplants: Using Animal Organs To Save Human Lives by Bruce Agnew
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When surgeon Joseph Murray performed the world's first successful human organ transplant in 1954-a kidney transplant between identical twins-he had no idea what he was beginning. Today, organ transplants no longer make news: about 20,000 Americans each year receive life-saving transplants of hearts, kidneys, livers, or lungs, from people who have signed organ-donor cards or whose relatives approve the donation. But at any given moment, about 50,000 people are getting sicker and sicker while they wait for such organs-and about 4,000 die each year, still waiting. To address the shortage of human organs, many scientists and several biotechnology companies have been working on an answer that, at first glance, might seem like science fiction: use organs from animals. The procedure is called "xenotransplantation" And some researchers believe they are on the verge of making xenotransplantation of whole organs
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This note was uploaded on 04/03/2008 for the course BISC 104 taught by Professor Walsh during the Fall '07 term at University of Delaware.

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Genetics Portfolio - Genetics Portfolio Gene Therapy What...

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