Ironically, new research shows that fatal viruses can in fact be utilized to treat and cure people. With these innovative discoveries, we can dream of a better time ahead where certain fatal diseases will be cured. The following are a few examples of how deadly viruses will be helping people.
Curing Diseases Viruses with HIV
A biotech research company in San Francisco is investigating a way to use the HIV virus as a cure for Hemophilia and Alzheimer’s. HIV is a virus that is responsible for acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS. The AIDS disease has infected over 65 million people since it was discovered 20 years ago, and millions more have died. HIV has the ability to penetrate human cells and deposit DNA. This process is called gene therapy and the hope is that it will cure many diseases. During the process, the HIV virus is used to carry good genes into people suffering from a variety of diseases viruses. All the bad genes that are causing the disease are removed, which will allow the HIV virus into the cell to deliver the good genes.
Curing Diseases Viruses Cancer with Oncolytic Virus Therapy
In the name Oncolytic, "onco" signifies cancer, lytic means "killing". Oncolytic Virus Therapy is a way to kill cancer cells that live in the human body. The Oncolytic virus is genetically engineered in the lab and works like any other diseases and viruses. This virus will enter a host cell and trick it into cloning more viruses until the host cell explodes. An Oncolytic virus will only infect, find and replicate inside cancer cells, so they leave healthy cells unaffected. Virotherapy is the process of using viruses to fight cancer and was discovered in 1991.
Diseases Viruses and the Brain
Research has shown that some gene therapies can pinpoint missing or defective genes located in nerve cells and demonstrates that gene therapy will treat and pinpoint definite missing or flawed genes found in nerve cells and deliver healthy genes to them. This process can also dispatch gene agents to destroy deceased cells and guard vital healthy cells. These research studies indicate that new treatments can be produced that are long lasting, powerful and more selective than current medications. Gene therapy is long-lasting, targets brain neurons, has fewer side effects, kills cancer cells and can fix biochemical deficiencies. Scientists have also found that gene therapy can direct the production of brain molecules that are too large to travel via the blood stream. Using this type of treatment holds promise in the treatment of nervous system diseases and viruses, spinal cord damage and stroke paralysis. Extensive testing is taking place today in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
Brain Tumor Destroying Virus
Research has found that natural occurring viruses diseases can destroy brain cancer cells. The virus is known as Respiratory Enteric Orphan or reovirus, and is usually found in the gastrointestinal and respiratory tract. Studies show that the reovirus can infect and destroy cancer cells, but leave normal healthy cells untouched. Currently, this virus can effectively destroy 20 out of 24 cell cultures. What is even more encouraging (for people, but not the mice) is that 9 out of 10 mice that were implanted with tumor cells and treated with the reovirus, survived 90 days longer than expected.
Tips and comments
Gene therapy promises to be the future cure for a variety of diseases. However, it also brings up many questions; what establishes an abnormal genome, whether research be restricted and to what extent it should be. Most of us would be curious to discern what Darwin would think of this technology.