The revolution of gene therapy

 

 

Introduction

Gene therapy is an highly beneficial experimental technique that uses genes to treat or prevent disease. In the future, this technique may allow doctors to treat a disorder by inserting a gene into a patient’s cell instead of having the use of drugs and surgery. This experimental option will change the way we as humans operate. Our generation benefits will be nothing compared to the generations to follow. They will be considered the “REAL BORN FREES”. Researchers are testing several approaches to gene Therapy which includes:

• Replacing a muted gene that causes disease with a healthy copy of the gene given.
• Knocking out a muted gene that is not functioning correctly.
• Introducing a new gene into the human body to help fight the disease.

Gene therapy is a promising treatment option for many diseases (including the such things as inherited disorders, some types of cancer as well as certain viral infections), with this type of technique, it is risky, but is still under the study to make sure that it will be safe and effective in our near future.

Some reasons as to why we should embrace gene-editing research on human embryos.

Curing genetic disease

Gene editing could be used to cure genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis or thalassaemia (blood disease that the Chinese researchers were working to eliminate). In this time being, there are no cures for such disease.
The detractors suggest that the selection of healthy embryos or foetuses via genetic testing is preferable, but such genetic test entail abortion or embryo destruction, which is also unpleasant to some people.

Genetic selection doesn’t benefit patients, it’s not a cure, but it brings out a different person, who is free from disease, into its existence. People would be grateful if their disease is cured, rather than being replaced by a different healthier or non-disabled person.

Dealing with complex diseases

Most common human diseases, such as heart disease or schizophrenia, don’t just involve one gene that is abnormal (such as cystic fibrosis). They are a result of many, sometimes hundreds, of genes mingle to cause ill health. Genetic selection technologies can’t eliminate genetic tendency to these diseases. In principal, gene editing could be used to reduce the risk of heart disease or Alzheimer’s disease.

Delaying or stopping ageing

Everyday thousands of people die from age-related causes. Cardiovascular disease (strongly age-related) is emerging as one of the biggest causes of death in the developing world. Ageing kills over 30 million every year. This makes it the most under-researched cause of death and suffering relative to its significance. Age-related diseases, such as heart disease or cancer, are the symptoms of an underlying disease. Gene editing could delay aging; this has already been achieved in mice. Gene editing might offer the expectation of humans living twice as long, or even hundreds of years, without loss of memory, frailty or impotence.

Stopping the genetic lottery

The fourth reason for supporting gene-editing research on human embryos is the flip side of the designer baby objection. People worry that technology like this could be used to create a master race, like fair-haired, blue-eyed “Aryans”.

What this concern fails, is that the biological lottery, example: nature – has no mind to fairness. Some are born gifted and talented, while others are born with short painful lives or severe disabilities. While we may worry about the creation of a genetic masterclass, we should also be more concerned about those who draw the short genetic straw.

Diet, education, special services and other social involvements are used to correct natural inequality. Ritalin, for example, is prescribed to up to 10% of children with poor self-control to improve their educational prospects and behavioural control.

Gene editing could be used as a part of public health care for egalitarian reasons: to benefit the worst off. People are worried and concerned that such technologies will be used to only benefit those who are able to afford it.

Making disease treatments less costly

Gene editing of human embryos could result in a greater understanding of disease and new treatments that don’t modify human beings. Gene-edited embryonic stem cell lines that cause or protect against disease could help us understand the origins of disease. Other edited stem cells could assist in helping with treatment – imagine blood cells that kill and replace leukemic cells. This type knowledge could be used to develop treatments for diseases, including drugs, that can be produced cheaply. And that would reduce, rather than increase, inequality.

The moral imperative

There are reasonable concerns about applying gene editing to create live born babies. Such reproductive applications could be banned, But the technology could be used for necessary therapeutic research: to understand the disease and develop new treatments, any other constraints we place on it must keep this in mind. Laws to prevent reproductive gene editing may be justified based on the safety concerns but a ban on therapeutic gene editing cannot. To ban it would be to ignore a great deal of good that can be done for a great amount of people, including some of the most vulnerable.

Conclusion

Gene therapy portrays many beneficial effects on human quality of life, creativity, and concepts involving advanced empowerment. Strong favour of implication starts at the roots of its success, developing a world which provides a strong leap to immortality of the human race.

References:

1. Pepe School land (2017). Alike short film. Retrieved from: https://vimeo.com/194276412

2. Sir Ken Robinson (2006). Do schools kill creativity? TED. Retrieved from: https://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity

3. Williams, S.C.P (2004). Genes don’t just influence your IQ – they determine how well you do in school. Brain & behaviour. Retrieved from: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2014/10/genes-dont-just-influence-your-iq-they-determine-how-well-you-do-school

4. Boseley, S (2015). Gene therapy treatment for cystic fibrosis may be possible by 2020, scientists say. Theguardian. Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/jul/03/gene-therapy-cystic-fibrosis-2020-scientists

5. Batsakis, A (2017). CRISPR gene editing puts the brakes on cancer cells. Cosmos. Retrieved from: https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/crispr-gene-editing-puts-the-brakes-on-cancer-cells

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