This news article highlights a new research study with positive results for gene therapy. I included it because it was a recent discovery. As discussed in the previous item, one of th challenges in gene therapy is that a person's immune system recognizes and fights the helpful viruses used for treatment. In the past, this can limit the patients that can be put in gene therapy trials. Now, University of Florida Health and University of North Carolina researchers have found a solution that may allow a gene therapy to evade the body's normal immune response. They have created a new virus "shell" that allows the vector to avoid the immune response. The latest findings are the result of more than 10 years of studying the interactions between viruses and antibodies.
This webpage helps to explore the what's and why's of gene therapy research. I included it because it has MANY resources a person could use to understand the concepts of gene therapy. The webpage includes: 1. What is Gene Therapy -- a short introduction to the topic of gene therapy. The article explains that gene therapy is a way to fix genetic problems by correcting defective genes. 2. Gene Delivery:Tools of the Trade - a fun interactive that let me (and anyone else) practice finding and using vectors, something, such as a virus or a plasmid, to deliver and turn on the DNA to fix a targeted cell. 3. Space Doctor -- another interactive to practice the tools of gene therapy, this time on aliens! 4. Challenges in Gene Therapy -- summarizes the main issues it's gene therapy. These include finding a suitable vector, avoiding a human's built in immune response, possibly causing other illnesses or problems in patients, and cost-prohibitiveness of some gene therapies. 5. Gene Therapy Successes -- summarizes diseases that have successfully been treated with gene therapy. These diseases include sickle-cell anemia, Parkinson's, hemophilia, cancer and in some cases, hereditary blindness. 6. Cystic Fibrosis Case Study --
This is a (long) paper written by the Food Science Department at North Carolina State University. This paper covers a wide range of topics from explanations and examples of modern biotechnology in the fields of industry, environmental science and medicine. An example of biotechnology from industry is the use of the enzyme protease in detergents, which is more environmentally friendly. Bioremediation, in which bacteria is used to neutralize pollutants, is an example from environmental science. Finally, gene therapy is an example from the field of medicine, and I will delve into that topic more with my other articles. Like the Khan Academy article, the paper discusses some concerns about biotechnology and focuses on the field of food science. I chose this article because of its extensive amount of information and background, which helped to pique my curiosity about different topics, such as gene therapy and genetically modified foods. I also chose it because it came forom NCSU, which is our hometown college!
An article describing what biotechnology is with examples.