The insertion of genes into an individual’s cells and tissues to treat hereditary diseases where deleterious mutant alleles can be replaced with functional ones. The genes are usually put inside a non-pathogenic virus, which serves as the mechanism to penetrate the cells. Gene therapy can also be used to correct non-genetic deficiencies such as the loss of dopamine in Parkinson’s, to modify the function of a group of cells or to provide a source of growth factors.
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