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Speculation on error correction [Re: The fountain of youth.]

french at RUST.ZSO.DEC.COM french at RUST.ZSO.DEC.COM
Thu May 14 19:34:47 EST 1992


In article <9205142126.AA06934 at genbank.bio.net>

> Unless a damaged gene is producing a product that is a problem in and
> of itself (e.g the mutant hemoglobin produced in people carrying the sickle
> cell trait), there is no reason to turn off the old gene.  A functional copy
> of the gene can be inserted under the appropriate promoter and enhancer,
> and it should be expressed normally.  If the defective gene product itself
> is a problem, antisense therapy might be an option, though granted the 
> technique will require a lot more development before that can be considered.

Replacing genes one by one, as we age and our genes break, is bound
to be a failed strategy.  It's like trying to prevent a house made of
sand from falling down by replacing each individual grain as
it tumbles down.  Why not prevent the grains from tumbling down in the 
first place by adding cement to the sand?

However, I have to admit that replacing genes one by one will
be immensely profitable and, no doubt, the medical-industrial 
complex will pursue that line of research.

- Larry French





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