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D. Researchers Work to Improve Gene-based Therapies

Narrator: This is Science Today. A team of researchers has developed - and recently patented - a pill that can deliver genes into the bloodstream. Dr. Stephen Rothman, a physiologist at the University of California, San Francisco and one of the inventors of this 'gene pill' says currently genes are delivered therapeutically by injection. So, what's the advantage of a gene pill?

Rothman: Partly expense - but there's another reason too, and that is an often not appreciated fact about taking medication by injection is that the amount that we have to take in is far greater than what would be required to keep a therapeutic level.

Narrator: With a gene-based delivery system, the gene is constantly producing and secreting the product, so blood levels reach a constant level.

Rothman: So that makes for a better therapeutic situation, particularly for something like diabetes where fluctuations in insulin levels are a serious issue.

Narrator: Rothman says the gene pill is not available yet, since more research is necessary. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.