Gene Therapy and Biotechnology
Gene therapy guarantees to transform medicine by treating the causes of disease rather than the manifestations. Researchers are fast approaching the end of the first decade of gene therapy, and we see what type of approaches that have been taken, the outcomes achieved, lessons discovered and significant recent developments. The early results on the clinical effectiveness of gene therapies were ineffective, mainly because the possible gene-transfer vectors determined to be inadequate. Recently, however, the clinical exhibition has been demonstrated and significant progress made in selecting and improving vectors. There is now every prospect that the second decade will see gene therapy live up to its tremendous potential.
Research and advancement in modern biotechnology and gene technology incorporate a broad domain from stem cell research and the improvement of medical genetic testing to the application of genetically modified plants, animals and microorganisms (including viruses). Contemporary biotechnology can offer new solutions in some areas such as health services, the legal system, and food production. At the corresponding time, some development is met with dubiousness by researchers and the general public. The correlation between benefit and risk is an extraordinary aspect of the debate.
Since advanced biotechnology may lead to significant social changes, it is argued that people, in general, should be involved in the decision-making processes. In this way, the authorities and those who develop the technology can achieve a more holistic picture of the outcomes the technology may have for social development. The prominent question is: How do we do this? Modern biotechnology and gene technology raise many different research ethics questions that require additional scrutiny and debate.
Methods of Gene Therapy:
The critical concern in gene therapy is the dynamic delivery of the transgene (the correct exogenous gene) to the destination site and its stationary regulated explanation. The usual perfect form of gene therapy would be to replace the defective gene with a functioning transgene effectively. The practice would enable treatment for all types of mutation including official ones.
Such gene replacement would include homologous recombination connecting the transgene and the chromosomal copy. Germline therapy needs gene replacement therapy because this is the only way to be sure that the gene will be displayed in a typical fashion.
In somatic gene therapy, the gene extension may be accomplished rather than gene renewal, where the transgene works adjacent the mutated (defective) gene in the corresponding cell also called gene accretion. It allows reconstruction of the lack of gene function that transpires in recessive condition. But such gene addition therapy penitentiary corrects a dominant mutation where the mutant protein will still be presented and exhibit its effect.
Antisense mRNA can be employed to inhibit such gene affected by a domineering mutation. In this case, antisense mRNA or an oligonucleotide that is corresponding to the mRNA molecule originating from the defective mutant gene, can be interjected. The mRNA and the antisense mRNA will form a double stranded hybrid which cannot be translated and, so, will be degraded. However, such antisense mRNA artifices are still not available enough for practical use.
Ethical Problems to Gene therapy:
The ethical guidelines for initiating gene therapy in its immediate form are well-established. The trial treatment will be launched only after thorough review at several levels, and it should perpetually protect the advantages of the patient.
Therefore, in somatic gene therapy, only one person is affected. So the treatment may be done with the agreement and consent of the subject. But in the case of germ line therapy, the improved DNA will be consolidated into all the cells of the individual presented from the genetically-altered genome, including his or her germ cells.
So, here, people of future generations will be feigned without their permission. Now the question is that whether the next generations have the right to decide for future ages. Thus far, the interests have outweighed the generous benefits, and such examination or treatment is outlawed.