Gene Therapy

October 18, 1991 • Volume 1
Scientific advances raise searing ethical and legal questions


If a disease is caused by faulty genes, then why not just replace the bad ones with normal genes? That's the seductive idea behind gene therapy, a conceptually simple way of treating everything from hereditary disorders such as cystic fibrosis to more common ailments like heart disease. Now, after years of clinical tests in animals, scientists actually are inserting genes into people. But experts say formidable technological hurdles still remain and that it may be years before there are practical medical applications. In the meantime, the Human Genome Project is unleashing a flood of information about our genetic makeup that raises wrenching ethical and legal questions. Ethicists say that choosing where to draw the line between alleviating suffering and controlling human destiny will be one of society's most daunting challenges in the 1990s.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Jun. 14, 2019  Consumer Genetic Testing
Apr. 26, 2019  Manipulating Human Genes
Sep. 15, 2017  Medical Breakthroughs
Jun. 19, 2015  Manipulating the Human Genome
May 31, 2013  Patenting Human Genes
Jan. 21, 2011  Genes and Health
May 15, 2009  Reproductive Ethics
Oct. 22, 2004  Cloning Debate
May 18, 2001  Designer Humans
May 12, 2000  Human Genome Research
Dec. 17, 1999  Embryo Research
May 28, 1999  DNA Databases
Apr. 03, 1998  Biology and Behavior
May 09, 1997  The Cloning Controversy
Dec. 08, 1995  Gene Therapy's Future
Apr. 08, 1994  Reproductive Ethics
Oct. 18, 1991  Gene Therapy
Aug. 16, 1991  Fetal Tissue Research
Jun. 30, 1989  Solving Crimes with Genetic Fingerprinting
Apr. 03, 1987  Biotechnology Developments
Jan. 10, 1986  Genetic Breakthroughs
Dec. 26, 1980  Genetic Business
Mar. 25, 1977  Genetic Research
May 19, 1971  Human Engineering
Aug. 20, 1969  Human Intelligence
Dec. 13, 1967  Genetics and the Life Process
Biology and Life Sciences
Genetic Disorders and Medical Genetics