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In vitro fertilisation

In vitro fertilisation is a form of infertility treatment where ova are removed from a woman and fertilised outside of the body by sperm. The resulting zygotes are allowed to develop for a few days before one or at most two embryos are returned to the uterus to implant and develop.

Gene therapy

A new, experimental method of fighting disease by replacing a defective gene with a healthy gene

Gene therapy for diabetes

A potential future treatment for type 1 diabetes is gene therapy. Researchers have identified a faulty gene which means that people with the gene are more likely to develop diabetes. In the future, this gene could be replaced by a fully-working version of the gene. This could prevent people from getting diabetes in the first place or reverse the condition in people who have developed the condition.

In theory, gene therapy could be performed on embryos before they were implanted into the womb during in vitro fertilisation treatment.

Is this a step too far for science or a great leap forward for medicine?

Play the videos to hear these people's views.

Emily's view

Priyanka's view

What do you think about gene therapy?

  • What are the benefits and risks of developing gene therapy?
  • How would you feel if you had a genetic disorder that could not be treated in any other way?
  • Should research into it be allowed or should it be banned?

You can find out more about gene therapy in Genes and Inheritance