Brave New Babies

In three landmark experiments involving gene therapy, doctors try to cure a rare hereditary disease

Even before Andrew Gobea was born, doctors knew his future would be clouded. Prenatal tests showed he had inherited a set of defective genes that would % leave him defenseless against infections. Had he been born 10 years earlier, he could have survived only in a sterile environment, as did David, the famous "Bubble Boy," who died after 12 years inside a sealed plastic enclosure. Andrew, however, has a chance to lead a normal life. In a new test of gene therapy, doctors at Childrens Hospital in Los Angeles, using blood extracted from his umbilical cord moments after he was born,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!