noun, Medicine/Medical.
the application of genetic engineering to the transplantation of genes into human cells in order to cure a disease caused by a genetic defect, as a missing enzyme.
the replacement or alteration of defective genes in order to prevent the occurrence of such inherited diseases as haemophilia. Effected by genetic engineering techniques, it is still at the experimental stage

gene therapy n.
A technique for the treatment of genetic disease in which a gene that is absent or defective is replaced by a healthy gene.
gene therapy
The treatment of a disorder or disease, especially one caused by the inheritance of a defective gene, by replacing defective genes with healthy ones through genetic engineering.

A promising technology that involves replacing a defective gene in the body with a healthy one. This can be done by removing cells from the body, using genetic engineering techniques to change defective sequences in the DNA, and then reinserting the cells. This technique has been carried out successfully, for example, on bone marrow cells, in which defective cells were successfully replaced with healthy, genetically engineered cells. Scientists hope to find an agent, such as a therapeutic virus, that will be able to correct defective DNA in situ. (See cloning vector.)


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