Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Gene therapy has the potential to save millions of lives if we can just figure out how to make it work. Hey peeps, thanks for tuning in to Dnews. I'm Trace. Gene therapy sounds like a nice easy treatment right that's therapy. In some ways it is on the macro level, but in your cells it's a little bit invasive. In gene therapy, doctors are basically hacking the DNA of a living human. Using genetically engineered retroviruses called vectors, scientists infect human cells. The retrovirus can be programmed to carry a gene or a little bit of DNA that will overwrite the messed up mutation and make it work properly. It was first tried on a young girl in 1990 and despite some early failures it has the potential to revolutionize treatment of genetic disorders. The Journal of Science describes one of the recent successes that gene therapists say was really exciting. A few children were born with metachromatic leukodystrophy which causes a defective immune system and some brain disorders and kids who have it usually don't live past the age of five. Bone marrow contains stem cells, the cells normally produce red blood cells but they can be reprogrammed using gene therapy it's a little risky, but it can work. Taking bone marrow from these kids doctors were able to infect the cells with a retrovirus and replace the stem cells mutated gene with the repaired gene. Then they re-injected that back into the patient and the fixed cells multiplied and as of the time we filmed this, the patients are all in good condition, and are heading to kindergarten at that time that others with that disease can't even speak. There maybe future side effects but they seem pretty happy with the result at the moment I mean I would be. Science just helped some kids! Whoo! It's not just useful in children. Scientists have also used gene therapy on dogs to cure them of Type 1 Diabetes with two of their doggie patients still alive years later. The treatment involved injecting two things into dogs' muscles. One gene to send glucose and an enzyme to dictate glucose absorption. Scientists don't have to target our DNA, they can also use gene therapy to target the DNA of cancer cells. It's like they gave cancer cancer. You've seen this before if you've been following Dnews. A protein called CD47 is like a passport that tells your immune system not to attack a cell. Normally cancer produces a ton of CD47. Using gene therapy on the cancer, scientist turned off that cell production and let the immune system blow it out of the sky like a decloaked Klingon bird of prey Gene therapy is still in its infancy but the promise of future cures for everything from cancer to genetic disorders is pretty incredible And I for one cannot wait to see what this brings. What do you think of gene therapy? How do you see it being used in the future? Tell us your thoughts and keep coming back for Dnews every day!