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Gene Therapy And Gene Technology

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Gene Therapy & Genetic Engineering What Is Gene Therapy? In recent years there have been truly great discoveries and advances in medical science. One of these discoveries is the idea of Gene Therapy. The concept of Gene Therapy was presented in the late 1970's. Scientists believe that a gene can be transplanted into humans who suffer from severe diseases that are life threatening. Gene Therapy can be defined as "the use of genetic material (usually deoxyribonucleic acid - DNA) to manipulate a patient's cells for the treatment of an inherited or acquired disease."Gene Therapy might seem a simple procedure; however it is a very complicated medical treatment. It is quite remarkable how Gene Therapy can be used to treat diseases and disorders by modifying a person's genome as it is impossible to change the genes in every cell. However, scientists have said that by targeting specific areas, it is possible to provide some sort of treatment or cure. In strong support of the idea, medical scientists say gene transplants could perhaps even cure diseases for which no effective treatment exists. Gene Therapy seems to be an excellent method to cure severe diseases and disorders and keep people healthy. However there is speculated side effects which are possible and that scientists are currently working on to improve. On top of this, there are many limitations on this therapy such as the ethical, moral, social and legal concerns which could restrict further research and development into the idea. Many benefits can be seen in the future if this research is allowed to continue, however these concerns about how gene therapy could affect humans in the future and the many impacts it could have along with possible misuse of the techniques could hinder this vital research. These limitations will be further reviewed later on in this report. There are many genetic techniques associated with gene therapy. ...read more.


Each individual test was repeated over to get concordant data. This would leave results where anomalous results could be ignored. The validity basically refers to whether the facts and figures are correct and whether they are what they claim to be. Validity also stands for fair testing. I ensured that the results were going to be valid as experiments for each influencing factor were carried out in the exact same conditions where only one independent variable was altered at a time. Examples of variables that were controlled in the experiments are, the surrounding temperature, amount of nutrients and proteins given to the bacteria to feed on and whether f the secondary metabolic products were removed using an extraction pump. What Are The Costs? As mentioned numerous times throughout this report, the costs that come with implementing, not just this technology but any new technology could be extremely high. One major cost would be the salaries that have to be paid to the scientists. The genetic engineering technique is a complicated one and is one that requires highly skilled and trained scientists who hold a degree. And as we all well know the more able and qualified a person it the more money they are entitled to earn. Secondly, as advances in technologies grow, the prices for equipment and machinery have increased significantly. As gene therapy and genetic engineering requires fairly rare equipment. For example an extraction pump would be necessary to extract the toxic secondary metabolic products that affect bacterial growth. On top of this, some sort of heat chamber with adjustable temperatures would also be needed to increase the yield of bacteria. Therefore the company would also have to cover these costs. In addition, specific proteins and nutrients, which could be expensive, would also need to be purchased for the growth of the bacteria. So as you can see already a serious amount of investment would have to go into the use of this technology. ...read more.


We are on the verge of liquidation and the profit and loss accounts of our company have proven this. However, could gene therapy and genetically engineered products be the solution and savior for our company? I mentioned previously in this report that the costs that would have to be covered if this technology was to be employed are massive. However I also mentioned that these engineered and modified products have the potential to bring in millions and be a huge success. It really all depends on close research into gene altercation, as it could also prove to be disastrous. It is basically make or break. However, gene therapy and genetic engineering is clearly under development and is still clearly a work in progress. After all that has been said, the negatives of genetic engineering have clearly outweighed the positives, which is not a good sign. After much analysis of the techniques used to perform gene therapy and engineering , many people have come to realize that though genetic technologies helps save lives, it still has the potential to go wrong from time to time when the therapies limitations are revealed. The techniques of new genetic technologies still face difficulties. Not only does gene therapy face only difficulties, but considering ethical evaluation and close analysis of gene therapy and its costs, people have come to a conclusion that there is a likelihood of gene therapy causing harm as explained above. This has led me to the conclude that in the future, gene therapy and genetic engineering will be a huge success and it is a truly great breakthrough in recent history for treatment of genetic disorders and will benefit many people. However at present time, the whole topic of gene therapy and genetic engineering is blurred and there is so little knowledge on the subject. For me personally it would seem wise and I recommend that the idea should be kept in thoughts but until further research and development into the implications and effects of gene therapy and genetic engineering, we should keep genetic engineered products away from the public, purely for their protection. ...read more.

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Response to the question

This is a generally detailed and well researched piece of coursework that is factually accurate, but contains omissions that are needed to explain more than one point. The author discusses possible uses of gene therapy and genetic engineering in some ...

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Response to the question

This is a generally detailed and well researched piece of coursework that is factually accurate, but contains omissions that are needed to explain more than one point. The author discusses possible uses of gene therapy and genetic engineering in some detail, but their explanation of how viral vectors would be transferred fails to point out that the vectors have to be transferred directly to where there is a problem; breathing them in is only useful if the problem is in your lungs. However, they did clearly and simply explain how various treatments can work, and this was very useful. They used both examples where gene therapy has been shown to work (SCID) and where its uses so far are limited (cystic fibrosis).

Level of analysis

This coursework contained an excellent amount of detail, and thoroughly explored the possibilities of genetic engineering in the future, analysing them in detail. The paragraph on cystic fibrosis contained a particularly thorough analysis of both the disease and the attempts at relieving it using gene therapy. The paragraphs on bacterial growth covered a lot of material beyond the syllabus and were factually accurate, both of which are excellent features. However, they seemed out of place, and could have been better integrated into the essay using as sentence at the beginning such as “The growth rate of bacteria is of scientific importance in this industry because they are required for the production of chemicals to be used in gene therapy.” This sentence could be altered to explain whatever purpose the bacteria had that the author felt was a key part of gene therapy.

Quality of writing

The quality of writing is good; sentences make sense, punctuation, grammar and spelling are accurate. The author makes good use of technical vocabulary, using it correctly and providing an explanation of words that shows they understand their meaning. However, the author does not have a clear introduction, nor do they explain that they are writing this report as a “company”. The latter feature is somewhat confusing, and not something I would recommend. The piece suffers slightly as a result, and would be better if the development of gene therapies by companies was simply a topic covered in the report. Ideally the author should have linked their bibliography to particular points in the report using superscripted numbers or endnotes. Overall the piece is detailed and well researched, covering all the main points in plenty of detail, with few omissions and no factual errors.

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Reviewed by E13 13/02/2012

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