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Everybody understands gene therapy. It's where healthy genes are used to supplement the loss-of-function of mutated genes, providing simple cures for complex genetic diseases. Because it clearly works (otherwise why is it called 'gene therapy'?) there is a roller coaster of public perception, varying between enthusiastic optimism in times of dramatic progress and scathing criticism when things go badly. A priority for those of us working in the field is to regulate expectation by providing access to more balanced and intelligible information, and that is one goal of the recently formed British Society for Gene Therapy ( © 2008 The Biochemical Society.


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