SPK - Genetic OWE Graded


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SPK - Genetic OWE Graded

  1. 1. Panyatree (Sunny) Kongkwanyuen Panyatree (Sunny) Kongkwanyuen 10R Biology/ChemistryGenetic Technology One World Essay Beijing BISS International School School Code: 1123 October 14, 2011 Gene Therapy: Changing the Field of Medicine 1
  2. 2. Criterion A:       Criterion B:  Gene Therapy: Changing the Field of Medicine 2
  3. 3. Panyatree (Sunny) Kongkwanyuen Gene Therapy: Changing the Field of Medicine Gene therapy is a rapidly growing field in medicine that introduces a DNA intothe body to cure a specific disease. (Hunt, Katherine, and Teresa Odle, 2006) Genescontrol heredity and contains basic biological codes for determining specific functions of acell. Gene therapy is to provide cells that correct or replace the disease-controlling cells toprevent the person to develop the disease. Gene therapy has the potential to eliminateand prevent hereditary diseases such as cystic fibrosis and is a possible cure for heartdisease, AIDS and cancer. Gene therapy is the transfer of DNA into your body. It is either done by mixingthis DNA with a substance that enhances the DNA in your body or by inserting the DNAinto a good virus, that doesn’t cause a disease, into the right part of your body. The viruscarries the DNA into the cell. The process is fairly simple to explain. The process starts byfirst removing the cells from the patient’s body then re-introducing new cells that havebeen appropriately modified to help cure a disease. (Gene therapy | The HumanGenome, 2002) The first step is to snip out many of the genes from a virus and substitutethe therapeutic gene. Then the virus is mixed with cells taken out of the body or directlyinjected into a target tissue. Once the virus is locked in place, the receptor is switched onand the cell begins sucking the virus inside, in a process called endocytosis. The viruscapsule break apart inside the cell and with most viruses used in gene therapy, the geneticmaterial inside then enters the nucleus Gene therapists can take advantage of viruses thathave the ability to code for an enzyme. At the same time the enzyme snips apart the cell’sDNA and inserts the viral DNA, which carries the therapeutic gene. With the therapeuticgene in place, the cell begins producing a working copy of the protein that had beendefective or lacking. In effect, the biochemical machinery of the cell has been fixed.(INNOVATION - Gene Therapy Animation, no date) Below (Figure 1) is a simplediagram explaining how gene therapy works. Gene Therapy: Changing the Field of Medicine 3
  4. 4. Figure 1 - Diagram of gene therapy, used to produce an essential protein called FactorVIII (Medmash, 2009) There are not as much benefits to genetic therapy but one main important oneand that is that genetic therapy saves lives because of its high success rate. Gene therapygives a chance for someone that is born with a genetic disease or who develops cancer thechance to live a normal life. (Advantages of Gene Therapy | Newsflavor, 2009) In 2002,an interview with a mother and father described how their baby, who had immunityagainst infection, was brought back from the brink of death and turned into a normaltoddler. Rhys Evans was born in September 2000 and soon lived as a "bubble baby", keptalive on a ventilator, after repeated infections made him so skeletal that he was too weakto lift his head. He almost died in 2001 of pneumonia. The disease is often called thebubble baby syndrome, a reference to how sufferers must be imprisoned in sterileconditions to survive. Antibiotics prescribed to him before did not seem to work and theparents could not find a suitable donor for a bone marrow transplant for him. Since Rhysdoes not have any brothers or sisters, gene therapy offers hope. After a tense wait of twomonths, when "life was a rollercoaster ride," (Ronan Keating, Life is a Roller Coaster) theparents were told that Rhys was the first child in the UK who could potentially benefitfrom the gene therapy work. The treatment was surprisingly quick - consisting of onehour under general anesthetic and, a week later, a transfusion of genetically modifiedbone marrow cells containing the corrected gene. After 5 months, Rhys returns home for Gene Therapy: Changing the Field of Medicine 4
  5. 5. Panyatree (Sunny) KongkwanyuenChristmas, he showed huge signs of improvement. He was now allowed to play and gooutside, this was one of the miracles of gene therapy. (Gene therapy saves life of boy in abubble – Telegraph, 2002) With benefits, there are limitations. One is that patients must go through genetictesting to identify the problem gene. For those people who found out their problem, theyface a dilemma. The dilemma is to find an adequate insurance to cover the treatment,which could be gene therapy, or living out their lives knowing that they carry a gene for adisease. This positive test has placed them in a high-risk group that they may have notbeen in if they had not been tested. This high-risk tag makes insurance coverage almostimpossible to find. The insurance that will cover them may be extremely expensive. So,choosing to have the test may be a question of whether they think their current insurancewill cover them or not. (Brandi Rochell, 1996) Another problem is the process itself. Scientists are still struggling to make genetherapy work. There are still many complications such as: viruses and other agents usedto deliver the "good" genes can affect more than the cells for which theyre intended. If agene is added to DNA, it could be placed in the wrong place, which could potentiallycause cancer, other damage or cause an immune response that could potentially kill thepatient. And a virus introduced into one person could be transmitted to others or into theenvironment. Also Genes also can be "over expressed," meaning they can drive theproduction of so much of a protein that they can be harmful. (Gene Therapy andChildren, 2010) “Gene therapy is thought of by some people as an terrific discovery that couldgreatly improve the human population and also give people with certain disabilities someglimmer of hope. And on the other side of the coin there are some people that think wehave no business playing God. They feel that playing God may possibly cause devastatingeffects to the human gene pool and may also led to misuse.” (Eric Hogarth, 1006). Thereare a few ethic issues relating to whether gene therapy should be used on patients or not.Even if gene therapies have a high success rate, patients have the risk of dying in theprocess. Gene therapy is used to help cure terminal illness, particularly cancer but this Gene Therapy: Changing the Field of Medicine 5
  6. 6. therapy is a risky treatment for people who are relatively healthy. A 36-year-old womanwith rheumatoid arthritis died in July 2007 while participating in a gene therapy clinicaltrial. Experts say that patients should be very cautious when considering gene therapy,especially if the disease is not life threatening or is under control with availablemedication. Some scientists, however, argue with restricting the people for gene therapyresearch. "If you wet your pants walking down the street, its not life-threatening, but its severe. Diseasescan have serious effects on quality of life but not be life-threatening," (Arnold Melman, an AlbertEinstein College of Medicine gene therapist.) Defenders of gene therapy say that they getmore criticism than old-fashioned pharmaceuticals. It is also true that restricting thepatients for gene therapy will make it difficult to get clearer results and develop genetherapy. (Gene-Therapy Deaths Raise Ethics Issues, 2007) “Im beautiful in my way cause God makes no mistakes. Im on the right track, baby. I was bornthis way. Dont hide yourself in regret. Just love yourself and youre set. Im on the right track, baby. I wasborn this way” (Lady Gaga, I was Born this way) If scientists could identify the gene thatcontributes to youth or beauty, then the technique of gene therapy could be monopolizedby the cosmetic industry to enhance beauty or to make someone younger. The politicaland social problem with this is whether baldness, height, or beauty should be enough of areason to require gene therapy. Federal regulation will have to come into play in decidingwhether a big nose is as important of a genetic problem as cystic fibrosis, which requiresgene therapy. As new technology is being discovered that can make plastic surgery look solast century. Gene therapy and commercial human cloning techniques are now offeringthe possibilities to radically change customers at the cellular level – making realsubstantive changes to the person rather than simply reshaping the exterior.Unfortunately most governments and medical bodies are instinctively conservative innature and tend to ban or excessively regulate the use of gene therapy. However thepeople of the “Young and Beautiful Cosmetic Surgery Clinic” are firm believers of usingnew technology to help youth and beauty. (Young and Beautiful Cosmetic Surgery Clinic- Gene therapy and human cloning, 2005) Gene Therapy: Changing the Field of Medicine 6
  7. 7. Panyatree (Sunny) Kongkwanyuen “Gene therapy will change the field of medicine from what it is today. As scientistsdiscover more genes and their functions, the potential of this treatment is limitless. Ourgenome is the blueprint of our body. The key to our future is locked in our genome. Asresearchers start to understand this blueprint, our lives will be forever changed. We nowknow our fate is indeed in our genes.” (Brandi Rochell, 1996) Today, scientists are stillworking on improving gene therapy and finding out more possibilities so that there will bemore benefits from gene therapy. Because, right now, there are not many benefits andthere are limitations that concerns patients. Issues are still being debated on about whocontrols the information and who has more rights to gene therapy. I think gene therapy is a wonderful new type of medicine that will definitelydevelop and become perfect in the future. Even though I am for the idea of gene therapy,after researching on the issues relating to gene therapy, I think that people should reallyconsider if their little “problems” (For example beauty) are as important as a person witha life threatening disease. I think that until scientists have near perfected gene therapy,gene therapy should only be used on people with terminal illness that could cause themdeath. Gene Therapy: Changing the Field of Medicine 7
  8. 8. Works Cited"Advantages of Gene Therapy | Newsflavor." Newsflavor | News In Any Flavor: Daily News, Latest News, Local News, Breaking News, US News, World News. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2011. <http://newsflavor.com/opinions/advantages-of-gene-therapy/>.Bartoshesky, Louis E.. "Gene Therapy and Children." KidsHealth - the Webs most visited site about childrens health. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2011. <http://kidshealth.org/parent/system/medical/gene_therapy.html#>."Gene Therapy is the sh*t, and what you should know about it. | Medmash."Medmash | a self-proclaimed technophile gone med-student; the chronicles. . N.p., 22 Oct. 2009. Web. 5 Oct. 2011. <http://www.medmash.com/2009/10/gene-therapy-is-the-sht-and-what-you- should-know-about-it/>.Hunt, Katherine, and Teresa Odle. "Gene therapy Facts, information, pictures | Encyclopedia.com articles about gene therapy." Encyclopedia.com | Free Online Encyclopedia. Version Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 3rd ed.. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2011. <http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/gene_therapy.aspx>."INNOVATION - Gene Therapy Animation." edu365.cat. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2011. <http://www.edu365.cat/aulanet/comsoc/Lab_bio/simulacions/GeneTherapy /GeneTherapy.htm>.Keim, Brandon. "Gene-Therapy Deaths Raise Ethics Issues." Wired.com . N.p., 30 Aug. 2007. Web. 1 Oct. 2011. <http://www.wired.com/medtech/genetics/news/2007/08/gene_therapy?curr entPage=all#>.Rocholl, Brandi. "Gene Therapy." NDSU - North Dakota State University. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Gene Therapy: Changing the Field of Medicine 8
  9. 9. Panyatree (Sunny) Kongkwanyuen Sept. 2011. <http://www.ndsu.edu/pubweb/~mcclean/plsc431/students/brandi.htm>.The Telegraph. "Gene therapy saves life of boy in a bubble - Telegraph." Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph - Telegraph. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2011. <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1389759/Gene- therapy-saves-life-of-boy-in-a-bubble.html>.Twyman, Richard. "Gene therapy | The Human Genome." In the genome | The Human Genome. N.p., 27 Aug. 2002. Web. 27 Sept. 2011. <http://genome.wellcome.ac.uk/doc_WTD020911.html>."Young and Beautiful Cosmetic Surgery Clinic - Gene therapy and human cloning." Young and Beautiful Cosmetic Surgery Clinic - a whole new you!. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2011. <http://www.youngandbeautifulclinic.com/gene.htm>.MLA formatting by BibMe.org. Gene Therapy: Changing the Field of Medicine 9