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A SUMMARY OF GENE THERAPY Many diseases seen today are the result of a defective gene in the DNA of the patient and can not be cured using the traditional methods such as antibiotics and antiviral medication The victims are now looking to gene therapy as a potential cure for their problems Bob Williamson introduces us the concept procedures and problems associated with gene therapy in his article Gene Therapy Along with the appearance of the recombinant DNA technology it becomes possible for human beings to isolate study and change gene in the laboratory Gene Therapy is the process of replacing a defective gene inside a patients DNA with a working gene that will produce the correct gene products The genetic diseases in which a single known gene does not function properly such as sickle cell anaemia thalassaemia and Lesch-Nyhan syndrome are most suitable to be treated with the gene therapy There are two types of gene therapy in curing these diseases patient therapy and embryo therapy In the process of the patient therapy the first step is identifying the defective gene and isolating a normal counterpart To obtain correct gene action it may be necessary to put it into the correct site on the host cell chromosome or even to delete the defective gene and the DNA can then be replicated each time the host cell divided But if the new cell is injected directly into the patients body it will be subject to the bodys immune system that will recognize it as foreign and target it to be destroyed along with the healthy DNA that it is carrying So the cells extracted from the patient are to be treated and adding the new gene in a test tube in the laboratory to make sure that the DNA is inserted in an appropriate place in the genome and the cells can then be returned to the patients body Now it
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