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									Genetic Testing and Gene Therapy

   Catalyst:
    Why   do you think this frog has six legs?
Catalyst Review

   Catalyst:
    Why   do you think this frog has six legs?
Biotechnology

   Biotechnology = technology based
    on life
    Medicines
    Genetic testing
    Gene therapy
    Cloning
    Stem cell research
Human Genome Project
   Key Point #1: In
    2003, scientists
    created a map of
    the human genome
     Genome     = all your
      genetic information
     Scientists determined
      the sequence of bases
      that make up human
      DNA in five test
      subjects
Genetic Testing
   Key Point #2: Genetic testing allows
    individuals to know the content of their
    genes
     Actionable   disorders
       Mutant  BRCA gene = 85% risk of breast cancer
       Early treatments (mammogram, hormone therapy,
        mastectomy)
     Non-actionable    disorders
       What  if you have the gene for Alzheimer’s disease?
       No treatment. Do you still want to know?
Genetic counseling

   Genetic counseling
     You and your partner submit DNA for testing
     Find out how likely it is that your child will
      inherit a genetic disorder
   Family planning
     Do you want to conceive a child or adopt?
     Early treatment
Gene Therapy
   Key Point #3: In gene therapy, scientists
    insert genes into patients' cells to treat a
    disease
     Germ   line gene therapy = alter sperm/eggs so
      that future children will not have genetic disorder
     Somatic gene therapy = insert new genes into
      YOUR body cells to fix a genetic disorder
       Only  way to help people already born
       Risk of causing genetic problems if done incorrectly
Eugenics

  WHO determines encouraging “good
 Eugenics
            = practice of what is good
  genes” and getting rid of “bad” ones.
  and what is bad?
 Sounds great, right?

 Will people in power be FAIR to
   Prevent suffering by eliminating genetic
    disorders
  those who are not?
   Save money by not having to research/treat
 What happens to those who are
    these disorders
   Stronger people in society NOT GOOD
  deemed geneticallycould push
    boundaries in unknown ways
  ENOUGH?
   Healthier, happier people
Biotechnology is good. And bad.

We need to critically think
 about what we are doing
 and analyze the positive
 AND negatives of what is
 going on.
Scenario 1
   Counsyl, a genetics company, recently
    developed a home test for genetic disorders. If
    two individuals submit a bit of saliva, Counsyl
    will tell them how likely their children are to
    have any of 100+ genetic disorders.
 Why would some people want to be tested?
 Why would some people not want to be tested?

 Which side do you agree with? Explain why.
Scenario 2
   With a simple genetic test, women can find out
    whether they possess a mutated BRCA1 or
    BRCA2 gene. Women with mutated BRCA
    genes have about an 80% risk of developing
    breast cancer.
     Why  would some women want to have the test?
     Why would some women not want to have the test?

     Which side do you agree with? Explain why. (If
      you’re a man, pretend that you’re a woman.)
Scenario 3
   Scientists have developed a test to determine
    if you have the gene for Huntington’s Disease.
    People affected with Huntington’s Disease
    gradually lose control of their body and mind.
    There is no cure.
     Why   would some people want to be tested for this
      gene?
     Why would some people not want to be tested for
      this gene?
     Which side do you agree with? Explain why.
Scenario 4
   In 2009, scientists succeeded in giving a
    squirrel color vision by inserting a new gene
    into its cells. Scientists hope to be able to do
    the same thing to humans in the near future.
     What type of gene therapy is this?
     Why would some people support this research?

     Why would some people not support this research?

     Which side do you agree with? Explain why.
Scenario 5
   Many people believe that, in the future, we will
    be able to alter the genes in sperm and egg
    cells to create “designer babies” – parents will
    be able to pick and choose their children’s
    traits.
     What type of gene therapy is this?
     Why would some people want designer babies?

     Why would some people not want designer babies?

     Which side do you agree with? Explain why.
Homework
   Explain to someone not in this class (such as relative)
    how genetic testing and germ line/somatic gene
    therapy work.
   Write on paragraph describing whether they agree
    or disagree with EACH of these technologies.
   Write a second paragraph explaining whether you
    agree or disagree with EACH of these technologies
    yourself.
Key Point Wrap-Up
   Key Point #1: In 2003, scientists created a map of
    the human genome
   Key Point #2: Genetic testing allows individuals to
    know the content of their genes
   Key Point #3: In gene therapy, scientists insert
    genes into patients' cells to treat a disease
     Germ line gene therapy = insert genes into sperm/eggs
     Somatic gene therapy = insert new genes into body cells
                              Write in complete sentences!
    Exit Question             Don’t talk during the Exit Question!

   Alzheimer’s is an incurable and fatal genetic disorder.
    Patients suffer from memory loss, and the loss of the
    ability to control their bodies.
      Would you want to be tested for Alzheimer’s?
       Explain why or why not.
   Imagine that scientists could cure Alzheimer’s by
    inserting new genes into your body cells.
      What type of gene therapy would this be?

      Why would some people support this treatment?
       Why would other people oppose it?

								
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