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Genetic engineering and gene therapy are an essential part in todays medicine They have led to the discovery of many new treatments for untreatable diseases They have provided cost efficient solutions that require much less procedure and can be permanent rather than temporary The solutions are also more effective then before and through the use of transgenic plants and animals can be easily produced Gene knowledge has sparked interest and continues to supply discoveries of new applications for this research everydayThe ability to study and manipulate genes is a process that has become extremely helpful in recent years Genetics is playing an increasingly important role in the diagnosis monitoring and treatment of diseases wwwornlgov 2000 Such projects as the Human Genome Project have become areas of interest because the concepts are new and the applications for this research are almost endless The Human Genome Project is helping to identify and study each individual gene on the human DNA strand Scientists now have the ability to pinpoint errors in genes which will eventually allow inherited diseases such as down syndrome to be completely eradicated A process known as gene therapy can be used upon infants to fix broken or problematic genes Gene therapy is accomplished by replacing these genes with normal genes so the baby will develop normallyNew techniques are being developed all the time A fairly new process involves synthesizing a therapeutic gene and then inserting it into a viral vector This viral vector can be either cultured along with blood cells of the patient or inserted directly into the patient Both these procedures result in the patients cells being altered to repair the problem gene Companies such as Chiron Transgene Vical Cell Genesys and Penn State University are main research facilities in gene therapy and currently are running trials on humans Popular Science Mending Broken Genes It is crucial to understand the importance of this research These findings could cause dreams of cures for
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