Thursday, January 8, 2009

Enter Gene Therapy

Gene therapy, the manipulation of DNA typically by exploiting viral vectors, is an elegant but so far impractical disease intervention. Scientists manipulate viral genomes, adding therapeutic genes, and then allow the virus to do its natural work of adding the engineered changes to human DNA. Two cancer drugs coming out in 2009 utilize this "Trojan horse" delivery and could herald the era of practical gene therapy.

(image credit: Bonnie Meltzer artwork)