Health and Medicine Question #86

Elizabeth Inch, a 40 year old female from the Internet asks on November 2, 1999,

Could Dr. Michael Smith's discovery of site-directed mutagenesis be of benefit specifically to patients with cancer or Alzheimer's disease? If so, how?

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The answer

Barry Shell answered on November 2, 1999

The short answer is yes, and the second part is we don't know. If it was discovered that there are genetic reasons for Alzheimer's or certain cancers, then it might be possible to change the genes of an individual using site-based mutagenesis, maybe while the person was still an egg or an embryo, so that these genes are not expressed later in life. However, this is just science fiction at present.

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