Hype Editor's Note: In late 1990, the first gene therapy was administered to a young patient with the hopes of correcting a defective gene that normally produces adenosine deaminase, a key immune-system enzyme. In the more than five years since then, gene therapy has grown in scope and notoriety. To date, in excess of 100 gene therapy trials-involving nearly 600 patients and dozens of diseases, including some types of cancer-are under way. Despite this multimillion-dollar effort and the much-hyped promise that gene therapies may hold for patients, many in the biomedical research community assert that gene therapy, now fully into its sixth year, is still cutting its teeth.

Wilson FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS: "I expect a fairly productive era, primarily focused on basic research," predicts the University of Pennsylvania's James Wilson. A major figure to emerge among gene therapy researchers is James Wilson, director of the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center's...

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