Pros And Cons Of Gene Therapy

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Year 10 Research Task – Genetics and Evolution
Gene Therapy
What is Gene Therapy?
‘Therapeutic gene therapy’ is an experimental technique that uses genes to treat or prevent disease. Inheriting faulty genes causes a wide range of conditions, including cystic fibrosis and haemophilia, and may cause susceptibility to some cancers. It is an experimental technique with aims to rid genetic conditions at their source. Several approaches are being tested -
- Replacement of a mutated gene with a working one
- Deactivating a mutant gene
- Introduction of a new gene to counteract the mutated gene
Genes provide information for cells to produce proteins and enzymes to control human development. A genetic mutation means there has been a variation, or a ‘typo’ in the genetic coding, causing either the
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There are also ethical concerns – any children, or future descendants did not consent to the treatment. You are therefore making a decision on behalf of them. As well as this, the power of gene therapy may be abused. Soon, scientists may be ‘curing’ obesity, baldness, or the like. This is actually enhancing the population, much like Hitler’s idea of a master race. Socially, only the extremely wealthy will be able to afford such treatments, going against the idea of equality for all and reduction of classism.
Although there are several disadvantages to gene therapy, many lie within the ethical spectrum of things. This method has the potential to directly save people’s lives, a feat which outweighs any ethical argument. With a one off treatment, it becomes a cheaper method, creating economic sustainability for patients. Not only does it save one person, it saves the lives of future generations. Further research into gene therapy will implement various individual, social and economic benefits, and is one which should continue to be explored in

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