DNA Essay

1792 Words 8 Pages

"There is no substance as important as DNA," Watson, 1991.
Gene therapy is a controversial issue in today’s science society. Debates in the United States are covering a wide range of topics. I will discuss just a few viewpoints from both sides.

First of all, a little background on DNA and genetics. DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is a complex structure consisting of a double stranded helix made up of complementary base pairs. Adenine (A) pairs up with thymine (T) and guanine (G) matches with cytosine (C). They are held together with the help of hydrogen bonds. The helix is spiral shaped, and the outside of DNA is alternating sugar and phosphate groups. Watson and Crick presented this structure in 1953.

"The genetic code is
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This is exactly what gene therapy is all about. It is putting a healthy gene into cells that have a faulty copy of that gene. According to the Oxford dictionary, gene therapy is defined as a "curative medical treatment." The mutagens, or mutant-causing genes, are being replaced by "normal" ones. According to Thomas F. Lee, 1993, there are four kinds of therapy:

Somatic cell gene therapy- where you introduce genes into somatic (body) cells to try and correct a defect. It would only effect the person being treated, not passing it on to the future generation.
Germ-line gene therapy- where you correct the reproductive cells. This would prevent the offspring from getting the gene.

Enhancement genetic engineering- used to better an already present trait.
Eugenics genetic engineering- is the promotion of a complex group of traits, usually regarding appearance or intelligence.

Some concerned people are tentative about the subject of gene therapy. That is because they have little, none or misinterpreted information. People may get pictures of identical sheep or mass body production for organ donation. But gene therapy isn’t cloning, but a manipulation of a few genes to correct a defect. There has been more information regarding the therapy to change genes and possibly eliminate some diseases. If a chronic disease could be cured by snipping or inserting a few genes—wouldn’t everybody want to

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