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Somatic Gene Therapy – Concerns About Modified Genes Being Passed on to Future Generations

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Somatic Gene Therapy – Concerns About Modified Genes Being Passed on to Future Generations

Somatic gene therapy involves making genetic modifications in individual cells, such as blood or immune ones, that are nonheritable and cannot be passed on to future generations. This has raised concerns that it could alter human germlines–sperm, eggs or embryos–in an irreversible manner.

Research into somatic gene editing has been reported in various journals, and several clinical trials are currently underway. These techniques hold the promise of curing diseases related to genetics such as AIDS, heart disease and cancer.

Therapies typically aim to replace a non-functional gene with one that works. In some cases, they may even’silence’ the gene before symptoms appear or swap out defective versions of genes for healthy ones.

These therapies, which utilize gene therapy, have the potential to eliminate or prevent hereditary diseases such as cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia. Furthermore, it could provide hope to those suffering from inherited illnesses who cannot access other treatments.

Though somatic gene therapy is an effective and secure treatment, there are still several issues to consider. These include:

Somatic gene therapy has raised ethical and safety questions about the potential for modified genes to be passed on to future generations, known as germline modification. This practice has been prohibited in some countries due to fears that changes could create new diseases or be harmful to someone’s offspring.

Bioethicists are increasingly concerned about the potential of germline modification, particularly when done for medical treatment or prevention. These concerns stem from our moral obligation to uphold nature’s order.

Furthermore, some researchers are worried that gene modifications used in somatic gene therapy could potentially be adapted to other purposes like creating designer babies with specific traits – an act they contend violates the “playing God” rule. This would constitute a violation of this principle according to some philosophers and religious leaders.

At present, a majority of Americans do not support gene editing to make genetic modifications in humans. This is because many hold that altering genes from human sperm, eggs or embryos is considered immoral.

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