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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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