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Gene therapy for diabetes

One of the possible future treatments for type 1 diabetes is gene therapy. Researchers have identified a faulty gene which makes people with the gene more likely to develop type 1 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 theory, gene therapy could even be used 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?

Discussion point

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?
  • How should research into gene therapy be regulated?