Sample - 1455 words essay topic, essay writing: Genetic Engineering
Genetic EngineeringFor the past thirty years, genetic engineering has been a main topic in heated debates. Scientists propose that genetic engineering far outweighs its risks in benefits and should be further studied. Politicians argue that genetic engineering is largely unethical, harmful, and needs to have strong limitations. Although genetic engineering may wreak benefits to modern civilization, it raises questions of human ethics, morality, and the limitations we need to set to protect humanity. Though there is harsh
criticism from politicians, scientists continue to press forward saying that genetic engineering is of utmost importance to help and improve society. In many cases, the technology can be applied for life saving purposes. For instance, a child that has a rare disease and needs an organ transplant finds no organs that match him.
As a last resort, the parents opt to take cells from the dying child and make a clone. If the clone is successful, the child will have a perfect match for the organ transplant. The initial result is that the parents end up with two healthy children that are more like delayed twins rather than clones (Watchbroit). This type of solution could solve a problem that plagues hospitals today. The lack of organ donors often causes grief and sorrow to the person waiting for a transplant and their family. Cloning can definitely be a safe alternative to what is occurring currently in hospitals now as long as it is closely monitored
In another situation, a husband and a wife both carry a lethal recessive gene and wish to have children. Rather than risk the one in four chance that the child will get the debilitating disease, the parents choose to use the cells of one of the adults and clone a child (Watchbroit). This method will help parents stay away from donor gametes and selective
abortion. In the end, the parents are happy that they have a healthy child without feeling guilty of having to use a donor gamete or selective abortion. Though genetic engineering may improve lives by helping humans become more efficient organ donors and aiding troubled parents, scientists also see its benefits in eliminating the world's diseases. In the year 1971, scientists had only uncovered 15 genes of the human genome.
By the mid 1990's, 2,000 genes of the human genome had been identified by geneticists (Grace). Surprisingly enough, it is estimated that only 2% of the human genome is uncovered. If scientists are further able to study this field, they may find the genes that are responsible for critical illnesses such as cancer and Parkinson's disease by way of Gene Therapy. There are two main types of gene therapy. One method adds normal genes to the person to produce what the patient lacks. The second method involves completely obstructing genes that cause disease (Grace).
The first method could be used to greatly increase the strength of a person's immune system or instill an immune system in a person that lacks one. The second method can prevent a disease from expressing itself in a person because the gene is stopped in its dormant state before it can express its harmful effects. Genetic engineering also opens up the possibility to mass-produce chemicals that are otherwise difficult or near impossible to extract. A clear example of this would be interferon, a natural compound linked with the human immune system. Interferon aids in the immune system in thwarting viral attacks from spreading within the body.
Although the usefulness of this compound was realized very quickly, it was very difficult to market for the widespread use of the public. This is mainly because, "The chemical is produced by the body in such tiny amounts that it would take the blood from 90,000 donors to provide only one gram of interferon, and even then the product would be only about 1% pure. In 1978, a single dose of impure interferon cost about $50,000 to obtain" (Grace). All that changed when a Swiss scientist injected the human interferon gene into bacteria. By cloning the originally engineered bacteria cell, the scientist was able to cheaply mass-produce the rare interferon.
The price plummeted from $50,000 dollars for one dose to $1 by the 1980's (Grace). By injecting genes into bacteria to produce recombinant DNA, humans will be able to manufacture and produce vaccines and other important substances such as insulin to a grand scale while minimizing costs. The steady rise of products in genetic engineering has influenced some speculators to believe that genetic engineering has the potential to increase the global economy. In the year 2025, it is estimated that 20% of the world's GDP, the equivalent of two trillion dollars, will be in genetic engineering (Coates and Hines and Mahaffie). Genetic programs will be able to enhance animals for recreation and food.
For example, a pit bull can be injected with a black Labrador retriever's gene to produce a pit bull with a friendly nature. Cows will be genetically altered to produce more milk and to produce extra proteins in their milk. Plants can be genetically altered to be resistant to frosts, droughts, diseases, and produce higher yields while containing more protein. Farmers will be able to build in certain flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives to better their crop. The medical industry with the aid of genetic engineering may be able to produce a hefty profit as it prevents and treats 4,000 diseases (Coates and Hines and Mahaffie).
All of these products and ideas could spur a new industrial revolution that could help the world economically as a while through the transfer of these goods and services. Though there seem to be endless benefits of genetic engineering politicians have always debated that some aspects of genetic engineering are unnecessary, unethical, and need to be limited by laws. In a world where countries are always competing to be on top, weapons are mass-produced to protect a nation if it comes to war. Instead of nuclear weapons, many nations are turning to genetically engineered biological weapons. Though genetic engineering can have many good uses, it can also be used to destroy life as effectively as the atomic bomb. Genetically modified microbes and germs could cause unprecedented damage as they are created and used without antidotes to counter them (Wright). The microbes will go unchallenged as they infect person after person causing death on a massive scale.
Through genetic engineering, horrific diseases such as smallpox will be able to make a comeback and be even stronger than before. Though genetic engineering could prosper well without limitations, there should be laws that limit it to protect humanity against the darker, less seen side of it. Over the past twenty-five years, Christian theologians have argued the religious and moral issues regarding genetic engineering. Many religious leaders believe that genetic engineering is in essence "playing God". By contemplating Christian religious ideals, the theologians have come to these conclusions:Human beings should not probe the fundamental secrets or mysteries of life, which belong to God. Human beings lack the authority to make certain decisions about the beginning or ending of life. Such decisions are reserved to divine sovereignty. Human beings are fallible and also tend toevaluate actions according to their narrow, partial, andfrequently self-interested perspectives.
Human beings do not have the knowledge, especially knowledge of outcomes of actions, attributed to divine omniscience. Human beings do not have the power to control the outcomes of actions orprocesses that is a mark of divine omnipotence (NBAC).These conclusions put forth by theologians, show how some aspects of genetic engineering are clearly unethical and unmoral by simple bible teachings. They clearly show how scientists are in part "playing God". Humans should reexamine their moral ideals before they continue to engage further in the field of genetic engineering. Works CitedCoates, Joseph F.
Hines, Andy. Mahaffie, Bohn B. "Genetic Engineering Could Benefit Society". Opposing Viewpoints Series. Roman Espejo, Ed. Greenhaven Press, 2003. Opposing ViewpointsResource Center.
Gale Group. Taylor High school, Katy, TX. 26 Feb. 2004 .Grace, Eric S. "Advances In Biotechnology Could Help Eliminate Disease". Opposing Viewpoints Series.
James D. Torr, Ed. Greenhaven Press, 2012 . Opposing ViewpointsResource Center. Gale Group. Taylor High school, Katy, TX.
26 Feb. 2004 .Kilner, John F. "Cloning Technology Would not Benefit Humans". Opposing Viewpoints Series. Roman Espejo, Ed. Greenhaven Press, 2003. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale Group.
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