/ Pros and Cons / 6 Monumental Pros and Cons of Gene Therapy

6 Monumental Pros and Cons of Gene Therapy

navajocodetalkersadmin on August 13, 2015 - 4:57 pm in Pros and Cons

Gene therapy is a relatively new process in the medical world that involves replacing mutated, damaged, or defective genes with healthy and normal functioning ones. This is done by replacing the proteins in the DNA with new ones, which can only be done on proteins that have had their structure been researched and discovered. A wide variety of illnesses can be treated in this way, making it a very exciting leader in medical technology that is available today. However, it is a highly controversial practice that has been under much debate and is still not widely used, let’s explore why.

The Pros of Gene Therapy

1. Major Potential
Gene therapy has some major potential when it comes to treating and, even possibly, curing genetic diseases that have been very poorly understood. If gene therapy where to begin being used for this purpose, it would be a wonderful thing and help millions of people who are suffering.

2. A Continuing Cure
Genetic diseases and disorders are often passed onto people’s children because they are given the same types of dysfunctional genes that their parents have. With gene therapy, it is highly possible that when an adult is cured of a disease because of new genes that have been put in place, these new genes would transfer down to their children as well. This could essentially eradicate many diseases over time.

3. Little Risk of Mutation
Unlike many other types of cellular treatments, gene therapy has a very low risk of the genes that are used mutating. This is because they are not necessarily “new” genes, but simply duplicate of genes that we already have within our body.

The Cons of Gene Therapy

1. Could Change Human Capabilities
One of the biggest ethical issues that is associated with gene therapy is that it has the possibility of modifying what humans are naturally capable of. They could begin to make people change their idea of what the norm for our lives are. Once these ideals are altered, they are altered for good.

2. Only For The Rich
Gene therapies are highly expensive, and it doesn’t look like that fact will change anytime soon. This means that only people who are very wealthy would be able to afford this type of treatment for disease. Eventually, only the poor will be left struggling and the wealthy will have been able to create a “super race” of people who are superior to others. This would cause a dramatic social gap in the world.

3. Ethical Issues
Like any type of practice that involves changing the true structure of a human being, it is viewed as “playing God”. Many people believe that diving into this sort of medicine is a slippery slop that could lead to even more invasive types of things being performed, such as human cloning. This is one of the biggest hurdles that gene therapy is going to face, because the controversy will not be going anywhere soon and funding will be compromised.

Important Facts About Gene Therapy

  • The idea and process of gene therapy was first invented in 1972, however, has still had very limited trial in human cases.
  • There are currently two different types of gene therapy. These are Somatic gene therapy and Germline gene therapy.
  • Some of the most promising uses for gene therapy is to treat cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy.
  • The biggest challenge with gene therapy is that it is difficult to ensure that the gene reaches the correct cells in the body.
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