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THE FUTURE OF GOD AND THE MIRACLE OF IN-UTERO GENE THERAPY

Updated: Jan 15

SCRIPTURE

"But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end;

many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” Daniel 12;4


QUOTE

The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know.

– Blaise Pascal


SCIENCE

Why do children resemble their parents? It remained a mystery until two centuries

ago, when the Austrian monk Gregor Mendel identified the mathematical pattern

of genetic inheritance in pea plants and proposed the laws of heredity when

nothing was known about DNA. Technology has advanced so much that, 200 years

later, we can design, synthesize, and edit DNA (genes). Why do we edit genes you

may ask? The purpose of gene editing is to eliminate those genes that pass on

diseases from parents to children. Gene editing technology has enabled us to

eliminate standard drugs and repair or even cure several genetic diseases such as

sickle cell disease, thalassemia (both are hemoglobin diseases), and a group of

more than 70 rare diseases that affect the lysosome called lysosomal storage

diseases. These are chronic and life-threatening diseases which are inherited inborn

errors of metabolism caused by defects/mutations in the genes that encode

lysosomal enzymes that lead to enzyme deficiency. These enzymes break down

and help recycle carbohydrates, fats, nucleic acids, and proteins. They are

important for cell communication and homeostasis.


The November 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine reported the

treatment of a rare genetic disorder called Infantile onset Pompe disease, a rare

condition caused by genetic changes that either reduce the levels of an enzyme

(acid alpha-glucosidase, or GAA) or prevent the body from making the enzyme at

all. It can cause heart and muscle damage before birth and if left untreated, most

infants die before they turn two. Researchers have identified the disease-causing

mutation and repaired it through gene editing technology with a functional gene.

Doctors have treated this disease for the first time while the baby is still in the

womb. Enzyme treatment was given directly to the fetus. Now the child is 16

months old and living happily. However, two of his siblings died early in life

because of the disease.


LET US PONDER

This is the first of its kind in utero therapy for this disease. Earlier, three

successful children were treated for a life-threatening sweating disorder before

birth. This remarkable breakthrough brings tremendous joy and relief to each

parent's heart. People who believe in God generally assert that "God gives life and

takes life." In the book of Deuteronomy, we read “ Now see that I, even I am he,

and there there is no God but me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal ;nor is

there any who can deliver from my hand' Deuteronomy 32:39


“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing

praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let

them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the

prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if

he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. James 5:13-15


If this is true, in the case of the 16-month-old child, why did God take away two of

her siblings for lack of technology and let this child live through because of a novel

advancement in science? Can technology triumph over the will of God? Is it

possible that the day is not for God to be laid off and apply for a new job, as the

godless proclaims or God is in control because God is the intelligence behind these

advancements as the Psalmist declares?


My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16  Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. 17  How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! Psalm 139:15-17

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