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5.2.3 Gene Therapy. explain the term gene therapy; explain the differences between somatic cell gene therapy and germ line cell gene therapy; discuss the ethical concerns raised by the genetic manipulation of animals (including humans), plants and microorganisms. Gene Therapy.

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5 2 3 gene therapy
5.2.3 Gene Therapy
  • explain the term gene therapy;
  • explain the differences between somatic cell gene therapy and germ line cell gene therapy;
  • discuss the ethical concerns raised by the genetic manipulation of animals (including humans), plants and microorganisms
gene therapy
Gene Therapy
  • Using genetic technology to treat genetic disorders
  • Getting a working copy of a gene into cells that contain dysfunctional copies of the gene
somatic cell gene therapy
Somatic Cell Gene Therapy
  • Certain genes switched on and off in differentiated cells
  • Augmentation = adding functioning genes into the relevant specialised cells meaning that the protein can be made and the cell will function normally
  • Killing Specific Cells = making cancer cells express genes producing proteins that make their cells vulnerable to attack by the immune system for targeted cancer treatments
germline gene therapy
Germline Gene Therapy
  • Stem cells that could become any type of cell or a new human being
  • Germline therapy is changing the genes of the first few cells meaning that the organisms is different
  • Somatic cell therapy is changing genes on part of the body, however the disease can still be inherited as the gene still exists in every body cell and gametes
  • Germline gene therapy is altering the organisms genes before development into a fetus, however this is illegal in humans because they say:
  • New human disease could be created
  • Human evolution would be interfered with
  • Too many ethical and moral issues with changing a human genome
issues
Issues

Somatic Cell Gene Therapy

  • Getting genes into target cells is tricky
  • Treatment is short-lived and has to be repeated
  • Difficult to get the gene functioning in the genome
  • Only the actual patient affected

Germline Gene Therapy

  • More straightforward to deliver gene into cell
  • All subsequent cells will have the functioning gene
  • Considered unethical
  • Genetic manipulation passed onto children- could be a good or bad thing
xenotransplantation
Xenotransplantation
  • 60% transplant patients die on the transplant list
  • We can now consider xenotransplantation= transplants from other species
  • Pigs have been genetically engineered so they do not produce an enzyme involved in organ rejection

Problems

  • Different organ size
  • Pigs only live to 15, so organs may age quickly
  • Pigs body temperature is 39⁰C, our is 37⁰C
  • Animal welfare groups think killing animals for organs is wrong
  • Jews and Muslims cannot eat pork, so could not have transplants
  • Possible disease transfer between animals and humans
genetic manipulation
Genetic Manipulation
  • What is wrong with moving a gene from one organisms to another?
  • Selective Breeding is unnatural?
  • Media call food ‘Frankenfood’ but are not aware that we eat DNA all the time and think that it will become part of out DNA if we eat it...
  • There were objections to the first vaccinations, the first organ transplant, IVF babies...