A STRAND OF REGENERATIVE MEDICINE TO TREAT DISEASE                                                              


Isolating or Spliting a specific strand of DNA through restricting enzyme and joining base pairs is referred to as Gene Splicing. Every/Each  restricting enzyme recognizes only a single nucleotide sequence. Immediately on identifying a particular sequence in a strand of DNA, it combines with it and splits the base pairs apart  leaving single helix strands at the end of two double helixes. Any genetic sequences can be added into the seperated chain and later the chain is repaired with a different enzyme called ligase. So, any form of genetic material can be spliced together.



Using gene-splicing technology, recombinant vaccines have been produced. DNA from a virus can be spliced into the genome of a harmless strain of bacterial strain. When the bacteria produced the viral protein, this protein can be harvested. Since bacteria grow quickly and easily, a large amount of this protein can be extracted, purified and used as a vaccine. It is introduced into an individual by injection, which will elicit an immune response. When a person is infected with a virus by natural exposure, a rapid immune response can be initiated due to the initial innoculation. Used for the production of hormones such as insulin to treat human maladies. In those days,  insulin was only obtainable from the pancreas of cadavers (dead persons body)- it required 50 cadavers for one dose. With these latest splicing techniques, large amounts of harvestable insulin are produced.

Other medicinal uses of Gene splicing:

 A 70 year old woman became the first patient to be treated for arthritis through gene therapy. At the University of Pittsburgh, therapeutic DNA that blocks the production of a specific protein (IL-1) that causes arthritis pain was injected into two of her knuckles (thru antisense technology called as Gene silencing- a technique with which geneticists can inactivate an existing gene that may cause disease). The technique here is that a specific strand of RNA binds to mRNA and hence the mRNA is prevented of replicating that portion of  DNA . So RNA cant create a DNA copy and hence more specific Genes can be targeted.  This technique is used to treat several viruses including Hepatitis, AIDS, Herpes and Chicken Pox . Antisense technology is now being used widely by geneticists in research to learn what happens when certain genes are silenced. 

Other Applications:

Another application of gene spicing technology is related to the gene involved in Vitamin B production. This gene has been removed from a carrots genome and spliced into the genome of rice. The genetically engineered recombinant rice strain therefore, is modified to produce Vitamin B. This can have many health-related benefits, particularly in third world countries that rely on rice as a major food source and do not have access to food sources rich in vitamins.

Gene splicing technology, therefore, allows researchers to insert new genes into the existing genetic material of an organisms genome so that entire traits, from disease resistance to vitamins, and can be copied from one organism and transferred another.

THERANOSTICS: Further Studies are ongoing on the subject.