FSpaceRPG article

Status: Official

Gene therapy involves treating the cells of patients with the addition of genes, whether intact genes of their own or those from someone else depending on the situation.

Genes are made up of DNA. Successful gene delivery requires an efficient way to get the DNA into cells and to make it work. Scientists refer to these DNA delivery “vehicles” as vectors.

One of the common means of delivery in the FSpace universe is by the use of viruses. They have evolved in nature over billions of years as effective mechanisms to deliver foreign genes into host cells.

The idea of the use of a virus as a delivery mechanism is so that the patient is not made sick by the treatment. These treatments are engineered so that these medical virus vectors do not contain the proteins that would trigger an immune response that would cause the patient to either get sick, or the treatment not to work.

The advantages of this method is that they are very good at targeting and entering cells, they can be engineered to target some specific types of cells, and can be engineered so they do not replicate.

Unfortunately the technique isn’t perfect because a virus cannot accommodate some of the bigger genes that are needed in some situations.

This kind of vector is often used in corrective gene therapy for genetic defects in patients, some cancer and radiation treatments and often in dealing with alien infections. They are a common choice where nanites are too big to be used effectively.

Nanites are often used in combination as medical monitoring devices throughout a patient, or for targeted delivery in a part of the body that may have a specific infection or damage that cannot be targeted through the viral vectors.

Categories: Medical

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