Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Can viruses be used to diminish the effects of genes?

  1. Feb 5, 2008 #1
    Can viruses be used to diminish the effects of genes? My friend said they couldn't be because we didn't understand enough about the mechanisms behind viruses and she gave some other reasons...but she was in a hurry and she might not have understood what i was asking...so I was wondering if a virus could be to used to stop/lower the effect of a gene or two, (in things that arent embroys) and why or why not

    Last edited: Feb 5, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 6, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Scientist already use viruses but these viruses have been engineered/modified to suit the purpose. However, these viruses, more often than not, do not replicate.
  4. Feb 6, 2008 #3
    Do they not replicate for safety purposes?
    A virus that replicates could be used/created though right? (To diminish the effects of a gene)
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2008
  5. Feb 6, 2008 #4

    Andy Resnick

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    I'm fairly sure that the guts of the virus are completely replaced with siRNA, leaving the virus only able to efficiently inject the cargo into a cell. Otherwise the cure would be worse than the disease?

  6. Feb 6, 2008 #5
    a virus couldnt be used to affect genes in every cell type because it would probably be too tissue-specific right?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook