• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

DNA Technology in Medicine

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

DNA Technology in Medicine 4th of April 2002 The intervention of humans in nature has increased dramatically as the years have gone by. As we start this millennium, a very powerful new technology with much potential is being unravelled that will allow humans to continue unearthing nature's secrets, and to continue tinkering with them: DNA technology. With the human genome fully sequenced, the possibilities to apply DNA technology in a field such as medicine are tremendous. Imagine: drugs tailored to your DNA, that work the first time round leaving no side effects; predictive medicine that will tell you what diseases you might some day suffer, and the gene therapy that is best suited to curing them; the elimination of a genetic disease you have even before your birth; medical checks that involve but a blood test. The possibilities are indeed great. The risks are also great as this technology goes through its baby-steps. Will its benefits be accessible to everyone? Is it dangerous to play with nature? Will its use be adequate to our real needs? Just how far should we go with it? ...read more.

Middle

Therapeutic proteins already exist, but with genomic knowledge, the market which was valued at around 20 billion dollars in the year 2000, will boom.7 Research commissioned by The Guardian shows that pharmaceutical companies, biotech firms of all sizes, government institutes and universities have filed patents on a staggering 127,000 human genes or partial human gene sequences.8 Many companies and universities are striving to patent as many genes as they can, without even knowing their function, so that in the future they might prove to be a gold mine. It costs around 250,000 dollars to keep a patent alive, so the magnitude of these investments is quite large.9 All these investigations that represent investments by the billions will with time find cures to many of the diseases that flog human life, but will they only have positive effects? If medicine based on genomic knowledge proves to be as powerful as it seems, then the roles of doctors might be minimized; why need a doctor when a DNA computer chip will tell you what you have, and then prescribe a tailored drug that will work only for you? ...read more.

Conclusion

The potential benefit we can receive from it is very great, but if this benefit isn't maximised around the whole world, and we end up misusing it, I believe it will not be as valuable to the world as it could be. 1 Tagliaferro, Linda and Bloom, Mark V. Decoding Your Genes: New York, Alpha Books 2 Meikle, James. Guardian- Pioneering gene treatment gives frail toddler a new lease of life, April 04 2002 3 NewScientist.com news service. Gene therapy cures "bubble boy" 03 April 2002 4 Weiss, Rick and Nelson, Deborah. Teen Dies Undergoing Gene Therapy , Washington Post, Wednesday, September 29, 1999 5 Ibid. 6 The Economist, Survey: The Human Genome, June 29th 2000 7 Ibid 8 Meek, James. Why you are first in the great gene race, Guardian, Wednesday November 15, 2000 9 The Economist, Survey: The Human Genome, June 29th 2000 10 Meek, James. Why you are first in the great gene race, Guardian, Wednesday November 15, 2000 11 Tagliaferro, Linda and Bloom, Mark V. Decoding Your Genes: New York, Alpha Books 12 The Economist, Should we lock the door on cell science? Mar 14th 2002 13 Dawkins, Richard. River Out of Eden: London, Pheonix Books ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Genetics, Evolution & Biodiversity section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Genetics, Evolution & Biodiversity essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    An Investigation into the Mitotic Nuclear Division of Allium Sativum Root Tip Cells, and ...

    5 star(s)

    of allowing a more representational and hence accurate average to be calculated, in addition to making it easier to identify and explain the possible reasons behind any anomalous results present in the investigation. Plotting the data in the form of a number of graphs increases the ease (and accuracy)

  2. Marked by a teacher

    MENTAL HEALTH

    4 star(s)

    They have a very strict regime for their diet, which could be that they only allow themselves healthy food and scrutinise the nutritional content of every item that they eat. Calories, vitamins, and nutrient become the central point of the food and anything that is found to contain even just

  1. Chromosomes and DNA

    In chromosome mutations a major change occurs and may affect part of or a whole chromosome. Down's syndrome is caused by the presence of an extra chromosome in chromosome set 21. In gene mutations a chemical change occurs in an individual gene.

  2. Recombinant DNA, genetically engineered DNA prepared in vitro by cutting up DNA molecules and ...

    Chemical examination of blood, semen, and other body fluids at a crime scene can render positive identification when compared with the DNA molecules of a suspect. The method has been used with good results in rape cases. Evidence gathered from this technique is accepted in British courts, but the procedure

  1. Outline and Critique the Claim that GeneticTherapy is justified but Genetic Enhancement is not

    (Hanna, 2005 on www.genome.gov). In addition, it is also described that gene insertion may be planned to affect a single individual through somatic cell modification, or it may target the gametes, in which case the resulting effect could be passed on to succeeding generations (ibid).

  2. Genetic Modification

    in several human cell types in culture: despite efficient viral DNA transduction, the majority of vector genomes persist intracellularly as ssDNA, and are not expressed. Transduction efficiency is greatly enhanced by a variety of agents that induce DNA damage, and is elevated in cells defective in the ataxia- telangiectasia gene product (ATM), showing increased genomic instability.

  1. Possible Cures For Migraines

    An abnormal metabolism of serotonin found in platelets and cells of the brain plays a major role. A rise in plasma serotonin dilates the cerebral vessels which contribute to migraines. Figure 2 shows some dilated blood vessels during a migraine headache.

  2. Humans and the Galapogas Islands

    so two genetically similar female tortoises of Isabela Island (genetically and physically close to La Pinta Tortoises) share his pen with him.For years, George has shown little if any attraction to these females and hopes to save the species had dropped systematically.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work