See Inside Scientific American Volume 308, Issue 1

Gene Therapies Will Cure Many a Disease

Gene therapy, once off to a rocky start, transforms medicine by getting at the root cause of many diseases

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The Science Of The Next 150 Years: 50 Years in the Future

It is 2063. you walk into the doctor's office, and a nurse takes a sample of saliva, blood or a prenatal cell and applies it to a microchip the size of a letter on this page on a handheld device. Minutes later the device reads the test results. The multicolored fluorescence pattern on its display reveals the presence of DNA sequences that cause or influence any of 1,200-plus single-gene disorders. Fortunately, regulatory authorities have approved a cure for each one of these diseases: gene therapy.

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