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,...

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