Interviewee: Mario Capecchi.
Mario Capecchi talks about the possible use of embryonic stem cells and gene targeting techniques to develop new therapies for for diabetes and Parkinson's.
(DNAi Location: Applications > Genes and Medicine > Gene targeting > Possibilities >
Possibilities for new therapies)
And the question is, what should you be able to do then, because they show enormous promise in terms of therapeutic, for example somebody that doesn't have the islet cells which are capable of making insulin, they have diabetes, and the question is can you use these cells then to reimplant into the pancreas and thereby regenerate essentially a functional pancreas. Alternatively, there are diseases of the brain, Parkinson disease where particular cells are dying, and these cells may be able to be implanted into the brain and they will then participate in making brain tissues, and thereby then getting around the problem of Parkinson.
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Gene targeting techniques are used by scientists to simulate human genetic disorders in model organisms. Many scientists believe that gene targeting will lead the way to new methods for correcting genetic defects.