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Combining genetic engineering and stem cells for curing any disease

stem cells genetic engineering

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4 replies to this topic

#1
asdf

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Hi,

 

I have now read a lot about genetic engineering and stem cell therapies the last couple of months. It seems to me that stem cell research might be missing a key step to make effective therapies for regenerating tissue inside the body  (but I am not a scientist - just a guy enjoying reading about scientific progress). So maybe I am completely wrong.

 

In my opinion, stem cell treatments don't work well inside human bodies, because these stem cells need chemical instructions, and the instructions can only come from the adjacent body cells themselves. Now question is, how do we tell the body to give the stem cells chemical instructions - I think this is where gene therapy could come into play, where cells are manipulated to send out chemical instructions again, such as they used to when we all were foetuses.

 

I think that might be the key to eradicate all diseases and replace damaged tissue permanently.

 

What do you think? Does it make sense to combine these two sciences? And more importantly, if yes, why are scientists not joining up yet to create a stem cell gene therapy?



#2
Jakob

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Sure. But diseases are constantly evolving and changing, and new ones are developing. We'll never get rid of them all.



#3
asdf

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Well are they? For now I think only viruses and bacteria can evolve - so here we have the category infectious diseases - where I agree, these might be ever evolving and we would need to adapt.

But all the other diseases like cancer, age-related diseases, brain diseases and heart diseases - I can't imagine how these should evolve. And at least for any non-infectious diseases my belief is, once we have a cure - the disease can't switch gear and make itself immune to the cure.

 

what do you think?



#4
Alice Tepes

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aids is not a disease that could be cured by these processes nor could any infectious disease. Also cancer is a difficult one. the problem with cancer is that it has indirectly to do with the process by which we age. in a sense cancer cells are perfect and don't age. one of the best ways our body prevents and eliminates cancer is by restricting how many times and how often a cell can replicate itself. so in essence our own senescence is a guard against cancer. also one way cancer can be caused by mutations in the genetics of an individual cell. these mutations have many causes that cant be prevented by gene therapy. however they can be treated by it. if we did "cure" aging we would be more likely to get malignant cancer but it would also stop a lot of age related diseases. most of what these processes can do is make many diseases less common, however there are also many they can cure.


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#5
asdf

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well, I was recently reading that they are now trying to make animals resistant to viruses by changing their genes. So gene therapy might be a way to never get infected in the first place.

Cancer on the other hand also doesn't seem to be impossible to conquer - Certain shark species living to 500 - 600 years seem to have perfected the mechanism of fighting cancer. Again geneticists are already looking at which genes are responsible for their cancer fighting mechanisms.

 

Lets see what will happen in the future.







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