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  Section: General Biotechnology / Genes & Genetic Engineering
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Genetic Engineering for Human Welfare


Future needs of gene therapy in India
Besides genetic diseases, gene therapy has tremendous scope for treatment of several disorders such as cancer, cardiovascular and neurological disorders. To initiate gene therapy the functional studies should be focussed on (i) design of newer vectors for gene delivery, newer approaches to systemic delivery, (ii) targeting to specific tissues and cells, (iii) stability and duration of expression of gene introduced, (iv) the statutes of the introduced genes in vivo, (v) design of appropriate animal models, (vi) assessment of risk-benefit states, and (vii) an understanding of molecular basis of cellular humoral immune response in case of DNA vaccines (Rangarajan and Padmanaban, 1996).

The need of hours is to start more studies in different systems on various aspects realizing the significance of approaches of gene therapy. Department of Biotechnology, Govt of India has constituted a group of experts to activate this area of research. At present there are only 3-4 laboratories in this country that have started work on this area. At South Campus of Delhi University, in 1994 Bagai and Sarkar have demonstrated the delivery of macromolecules such as toxins, drugs and nucleic acids into viable cultured cells through the use of reconstituted Sendai virus envelop (RSVE). This approach needs to be extrapolated under in vivo conditions. At the Cancer Research Institute (Mumbai) treatment of oral cancer through gene targeting to oral mucosal cells has been demonstrated. In 1995, at the Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore), Prabhu and co-workers have demonstrated the reporter mediated targeting and expression of growth hormone gene in rat liver by using a regulatable promoter (cytochrome P-450 promoter induced by phenobarbitone). In 1996, Rangarajan and co-workers have demonstrated a newer approach to delivering DNA to hepatocytes by perfusion of liver with DNA-lipofectin complex.


Cloned genes and production of chemicals


Human peptide hormone genes














Human interferon genes


Genes for vaccines



Vaccine for hepatitis-B virus



Vaccines for Rabies virus



Vaccines for poliovirus



Vaccine for foot and mouth disease virus



Vaccines for small pox virus



Malaria vaccines



DNA vaccines


Genes associated with genetic diseases














Enzyme engineering


Commercial chemicals

Prevention, diagnosis and cure of diseases


Prevention of diseases


Diagnosis of diseases



Parasitic diseases



Monoclonal antibodies



Antenatal diagnosis


Gene therapy



Types of gene therapy



Methods of gene therapy



Success of gene therapy



Potential of gene delivering system



Future needs of gene therapy in India

DNA profiling (fingerprinting)


Methods of DNA profiling


Application of DNA profiling



Genetic databank



Reuniting the lost children



Solving disputed problems of parentage, identity of criminals, rapists, etc



Immigrant dispute


Hurdles of DNA profiling

Animal and plant improvement


Transgenic Farm Animals


Crop Improvements



Transgenic plants



Nif gene transfer



Phaseolin gene transfer



Conversion of C3 plants to C4 plants



Herbicide resistant plants



Insect pest resistant plants



Plant improvement through genetic transformation


Crop Protection



Use of antagonists



Use of insecticides

Abatement of pollution


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