Molecular Biology and Gene Technology Assignment

Essay by yashbHigh School, 12th grade March 2010

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Molecular Biology and Gene Technology Assignment

Task 1

Part A Gene therapy is revolutionising the world of medicines. It may change the practice of medicine from a treatment based to a prevention based practice. Gene therapy is changing our future that is stored in the genes. Gene therapy could be the last therapy needed for the human race. Gene therapy is the introduction of the normal genes into existing cells with faulty genes to prevent or cure a wide range of diseases.

The identified genetic disease is Cystic Fibrosis, severe combined immunodeficiency, adenosine deaminase deficiency and familial hypercholesteremia. This genetic diseases can possibly be corrected by three ways.

Somatic gene therapy: This method involves introducing a normal gene into targeted cells to just treat the patient by using a carrier which are mostly viruses. This is because the genes do not get passed on to the offspring; this means that even if the patient is treated for the disease it doesn't necessarily mean that the patient's future child will not get the disease.

Germline gene therapy: This method involves modifying the genes of the egg cells or the sperm cells. In this any genetic changes that can occur have very high chance that it will pass to the future generations.

Stem Cell research: this treatment could be available in the future for genetic diseases like CF. Stem cells could be produced in which the disease alleles are replaced with normal alleles

Differences between Somatic and Germline Gene Therapy:

There is one main difference between somatic and germline gene therapy. Somatic gene therapy alters body cells and has no effect on the reproduction cells or any future offspring. Germline gene therapy, on the other hand, targets cells of the reproductive system and can be used to change the cells...