Explain The Concept Of Gene Therapy And How The Technology Can Applied In The Treatment Of Cystic – Coursework Example
Gene Therapy In the advances of modern medicine and biology, scientists and researchers have been looking into the different cellular mechanics that help make the body work. One of the fields of great interest is genetic research as a way of completely curing the illnesses versus offering a prescription to relieve the symptoms. Genetic technology has allowed scientists to study, clone, and replicate DNA for the purposes of treatment and research. In particular, gene therapy is useful in helping treat a variety of illnesses such as cystic fibrosis.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects the respiratory system. With this condition, mucous build up occurs in the lungs as well as other organs in the body. The genetic disorder is cause by an abnormality in the DNA which causes the development of an abnormally amount of thick mucous. If not treated properly, cystic fibrosis can be fatal. Some of the commonly seen symptoms of the disease include, but aren’t limited to congestion, cough, fatigue, nausea, etc. A blood test is usually used to identify the illnesses. There are also many different medical treatments available to help with this illness such as medication to help break up the thick mucous as well as a host of different antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection ("Cystic Fibrosis").
Gene therapy can be used as a possible cure method for cystic fibrosis. Gene therapy requires going to the cellular level in order to manipulate DNA that has been encoded incorrectly or has been damaged in order to eliminate the genetic disorder. First in 1990, researchers were able to sythesize correct DNA strands of the working gene that causes cystic fibrosis. Throughout the years, different methods of introducing this correct DNA onto an incorrect DNA template have included infection through genetically modified viruses and bacertia as well as through other methods ("Learning about Cystic Fibrosis").
Althougu there are limits to the ability of genetic manipulation, scientists are currently researching new methods of being able to not only treat genetic disorders, but also how to cure these disorders. As gene therapy develops, more sophisticated techniques can be developed in order to ensure that all genetic disorders can be cured.
"Cystic Fibrosis." PubMed Health. 2011. Web. 6 Dec 2011.
United States. National Institute of Health. Learning about Cystic Fibrosis. 2011. Web.