WHAT IS GENE THERAPY?
Gene therapy is the basic method of addition or introduction of new genes into the patient body to replace the malfunctioning or mutated genes which causes disease in both somatic cells and germ-line cells. Basically scientist use vectors of virus to carry the genetic material to the desired position because viruses are evolved to do with their own genetic material.
There are basically two types of gene therapy as listed below
Somatic gene therapy- this is used for the genetic curing of somatic cells or body cells which has a 2n nucleus. This is inheritable
Germ-line gene therapy-this is used to cure the germ cells or sex cells this is inheritable
The genes which are inserted has no effect on the organism until it is carried by a vector. Commonly there are threetypes of virus that are used in the gene therapy they are
Adeno-associated virus and herpes simplex virus.
These can sometimes cause mutation of the organism but correct examination and the usage of the genes can result in favorable changes in the organism. Germ-line gene therapy is mostly preferred because it has a inheritable character.
DISEASE CURED BY GENE THERAPY:
Gene therapy can directly correct or alter the genes causing disease so that hereditary disorders such as cystic fibrosis and hemophilia can be cured by gene therapy even heart disease, diabetes , cancer, AIDS can be cured by germ-line gene therapy.
Brain tumor is formed by rapidly dividing cancer cells the reason this tumor is formed is due to some of the defective or mutated genes. The corrective genes are then transferred into the desired cell using a viral vector and then inhibiting the growth of these tumor cells.
Diabetes is a inheritable disease in the production or utilization of insulin in our body. This is a disorder correction made in the genes of germ cells which is responsible for the production of human insulin in the body can prevent this disease from passing from one generation to the other.
EVOLUTIONARY IMPERFECTIONS DUE TO GENE THERAPY:
There are some risk which can break the evolutionary chains not only that there are other risks in the process of gene therapy they are
The immune system may respond to the working of gene copy that has been inserted causing inflammation.
The introduction of insertion of the genes in the wrong spot may lead to mutations of genes.
The working gene may produce too much of the missing enzymes that may lead to several health problems
Other genes witch are not desired to be inserted can be accidentally introduced into the cells causing in cell death in several conditions.
The deactivated virus may be contagious
There are several ethical genitival and evolutionary traits that make gene therapy a quite scary thing.
THE ETHICS OF GENETIC CHOISE:
The parents can choose their own children according to their will!!!!!!!. What is it? Using the advanced methods of gene therapy on germ-line cells they can choose the sex, color of eye, color of hair, tone of skin color and can alter the immune system of the child. This may be against the laws of nature.
We must not break the cords with or ancestors and it is a non-ethical act of breaking evolutionary chains with the help of gene therapy.
IS GERMLINE GENE THERAPY NECESSARY
Surely speaking there are advantages in gene therapy they are as follow
IT HAS THE ABILITY TO REPLACE DEFECTIVE CELLS: human beings are always prone to some of the disease some of them may occur in the genes which make them hard to be cured. constantly humans are threatened by newer and more dangerous type of pathogens. There would be no cure for genitival disease unless we replace the defective genes with a healthy one
IT PROMISES A GREAT UNTAPPED POTENTIAL: people suffering from genitival disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and alzimer disease can be greatly helped by gene therapy. This can not only be cured not only for the individual suffering from the disease but it can also stopped from genetically transmitted through the next generation.
If there are advantages for gene therapy then for sure there would be some of the disadvantages that make it more prominent some of them are listed as below
IT CAN DAMAGE THE GENE POOL: it is for sure that the gene therapy could possibly change the entire gene pool permanently if it was done to a certain extend gene therapy is not that cheap that a poor cant afford it only the rich can think of gene therapy.
IT WOULD MODIFY HUMAN CAPABILITIES: it is a main drawback that it enhances and modify human capabilities, which means that standard of human normal life.
IT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO GIVE RAISE TO OTHER DISORDERS: there is a exact point in the host genome where the right genes must be placed. There is no assurance that the viral enzymes used in the process will place right genes in the apt place anything can go wrong and this may lead to new disorders.
NECESSITY OF GENE THERAPY:
By knowing the correct sequence of the genome order we can stop many genetical disorders. According to me gene therapy may be important but no in the price that an individual can pay for it. more scientific practice must be carried out to stop mutations that occur during the process of gene therapy.
A CASE AGAINST GERMLINE GENE THERAPY by SULLON AGNETA, ETHICS OF MEDICAL, VOL 29, NO 1, SPRING 2013
GENETICS AND SOCIETY: AN INTRODUCTION by ALISON PILNIK, OPEN UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2002
BABIES BY DESIGN: ETHICS OF GENETIC CHOISE, by R.M.GREEN and D.WOODS, 2007
PROS AND CONS OF GENE THERAPY by SHALINI BALAN, 2011