Hormone Replacement Therapy
What is a Gene?
and Gene Therapy
the simplest functional components of life on earth. The entire
collection of genes in an organism is known as its genetic code, also
known as its DNA. The genetic code is a literal blueprint which has
the capacity to create an organism.
A gene is
a single data-point on a piece of DNA which controls some aspect of
the organism. Genes control everything about us via the way that they
allow for the creation of proteins and enzymes that are the building
blocks of all life forms.
make up the next level of genetic organization. All genes are
particular aspects of a DNA molecule, and DNA is arranged into helix
structures known as chromosomes. All organisms which have a nucleus
have a specific number of chromosomes associated with their species
which comprises a complete genetic code. There are rare instances
where certain organisms have more or less chromosomes that normal,
but this represents a mutation, and does not represent the species as
derived from DNA and the genes, and is directly responsible for the
production of proteins and enzymes which control the function of the
body. The genetic code controls both the metabolic function as well
as the structure of each individual cell within an organism.
eggs are unique cells within the body, because they only contain
split chromosomes. When reproduction occurs, the two sets of
half-chromosomes combine, creating an entirely new and randomized set
of chromosomes, which has the capacity to create a brand new organism
which shares the individual traits of both the mother and the father.
every gene is comprised of what are known as nucleotides. These
nucleotides are the central building blocks of the genes, themselves.
All nucleotides are designed in the same way. They contain three
components: a phosphoric acid, a sugar, and a compound containing
nitrogen. These nucleotides form the double-helix structures which
are associated with the DNA molecule.
of Junk DNA
full set of chromosomes contain all of the data needed to completely
design an organism, many of the genes within the DNA strands actually
do not serve any direct purpose at all. Any DNA Segment that does not
contribute to the production of proteins is known as Junk DNA. Junk
DNA are scientifically referred to as Introns. All parts of the
genetic structure that actually have the capability to create
proteins are known as Exons.
the vast majority of DNA in the human genetic code is actually junk
DNA. Only three percent of the DNA contained within your genetic code
actually contribute to your development. Although it sounds like Junk
DNA is absolutely worthless, it actually plays a real and significant
role in the proper function of the chromosomes.
species has a specific number of chromosomes, and each of these
chromosomes are organized in the same way. Changing the composition
of the genes or the number of chromosomes, causes what is known as a
mutation. When these mutations occur in normal cells, it can cause
any number of problems. Junk DNA reduces the odds that these
mutations occur, while also stabilizing DNA Structure.
the Science of Genetics?
is the scientific study of heredity and inheritance. The term
Genotype refers to an organism's specific genetic makeup. Genotype
refers to traits as they are expressed in the genetic code.
on the other hand, accounts for what we actually perceive. Phenotype
refers to how the genes are ultimately expressed within the organism.
The term Genome refers to the full blueprint of the genetic code of a
Was the Human Genome Project
scientific knowledge of human genetics is incredibly new. The Human
Genome was not fully uncovered until 2003. The Human Genome Project
was responsible for the mapping of the entire human genetic code. The
project was first propodddddsed in 1990 and took thirteen years and
three billion dollars to complete. When we completed the blueprint in
2003, what we had was akin to a map without a legend.
have spent the last decade decoding the blueprint, attempting to
discover the purpose of every gene in the genetic code. As
researchers and scientists more fully understand the Human Genome, we
will be able to take advantage of that knowledge in countless
Therapy is the use of Genetic Engineering and our knowledge of the
Human Genome and those of other species in order to treat chronic
diseases and disorders associated with various medical issues.
Because the science of Human Genetics is so new and young, many of
these techniques remain in the experimental phase.
point, the most complicated aspect of Genetic Therapy is how to
appropriately administer the treatment to specific target cells. In
order for these forms of treatment to have a powerful and
long-lasting effect, they must be delivered to the necessary target
so that they can reproduce and propagate among the surrounding
tissues. There are two primary means by which Gene Therapy takes
Therapy - In this form of treatment, tissue is extracted from
the patient, which is then Genetically Altered and returned to the
body. This form of therapy involves either treating human cells after
they have been extracted, or altering the cells before returning them
to the body.
promising research in regard to Ex Vivo Gene Therapy is in regard to
neuro-degenerative diseases such as Parkinsons'. One way that
scientists have learned to do this is through Ex Vivo Therapy.
Defective cells are removed from the patient and fortified with
copies which are genetically healthy. After the healthy cells have
been given the chance to propagate, they are re-administered to the
Therapy - In this form of treatment, therapies which feature
Genetically Engineered Medicines are administered directly to the
patient. One way to do this in to inject a gene into a
non-symptomatic or inactivated virus and let the virus spread the
healthy genes to target cells.
Vivo approach is to attach the corrective gene to a liposome so that
it may enter the cell through its membrane. Liposomes are microscopic
pouches surrounded in fat which have the ability to breach the cell
membranes because of their lipid composition.
A third In
Vivo approach is known as Chimeraplasty. In this form of Gene
Therapy, Bio-Engineered Nucleic Acids are delivered via liposome in
order to resolve pathogenic mutations. One way that this form of
treatment works is by releasing a chemical that the human body is
unable to produce naturally. Another way is by counteracting a
pathogenic mutation, correcting it or rendering it inert. A third way
that this form of treatment works is by marking cancer cells so that
they can be more readily eradicated by other medical treatments.
Use of Gene Therapy
Therapy is one of the newest medical techniques available to mankind.
In human patients, it was first used as a medical treatment in 1990,
in order to treat a pediatric patient suffering from Adenosine
Deficiency is a significant medical disorder that severely restricts
the immune system from functioning, and in some cases, it completely
shuts down the Immune System, leaving the patient dangerously exposed
to outside pathogens. The future potential for Gene Therapy is
incredibly bright. Today, scientists around the world are coming up
with new and innovative ways to treat disorders such as AIDS, various
genetic disorders, as well as numerous cancers.
of the obvious and exciting potential of Genetic Therapy, there are a
number of roadblocks which slow down the development of new and
useful treatments. Scientists have to be careful to create gene
therapies which the human immune system does not perceive as a
threat. In addition to this, researchers must be absolutely certain
that the viruses that they use are unable to become virulent and
dangerous over time. It is also important that Gene Therapies do not
alter the genetic code of reproductive cells, in order to preserve
the normal function of heredity.
of Gene Therapy in the USA
United States, all Gene Therapies are considered medications and must
be approved by the American Food and Drug Administration. The United
States also has a panel which belongs to the National Institute of
Health which is dedicated to the monitoring of Gene Therapies, known
as the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee.
Gene Therapy is a new field, or perhaps because of it, it is an
incredibly lucrative and competitive field in both the public and the
private sector. Many techniques have also been successfully patented.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Replacement Therapy is another common use of Recombinant DNA
Technology. As opposed to En Vivo or Ex Vivo Therapy, Bio-Identical
Hormone Replacement Therapy alters the genetic structure of
microorganisms so that they produce a useful form of medication.
Human Growth Hormone HRT is an example of this type of therapy.
Although HGH can be derived directly from the pituitary gland of
cadavers, the safest and most common method today is to re-engineer
bacteria to secrete Human Growth Hormone which can be safely and
sterilely extracted for medical use.
E.Coli bacteria are redesigned to release Growth Hormone molecules
that are completely identical to those created by the human body.
Hormone Replacement Therapy is the future of safe and natural Hormone