EssaysForStudent.com - Free Essays, Term Papers & Book Notes
Search

A Comparison of Genetic Engineering in Gattaca to Modern Stem-Cell Research

By:   •  Essay  •  813 Words  •  December 4, 2009  •  1,150 Views

Page 1 of 4

Essay title: A Comparison of Genetic Engineering in Gattaca to Modern Stem-Cell Research

Searching for stem cell news on the internet reveals a never-ending amount of pages with web sites about breakthroughs in stem-cell research. Such articles included potential cures to diabetes, Parkinson’s, leukemia, and various forms of cancer. This research could potentially lead to these terrible diseases’ near end. In Andrew Niccol’s Gattaca, a society is portrayed where there are no diseases due to advanced genetic engineering. This movie, based in the future, depicts couples that are able to basically hand-pick a perfect child. While modern technology has not evolved near as far as in Gattaca, stem-cell research is on the verge of creating a way to counter vicious diseases.

One development that seemed to relate to the movie is stem-cells being to treat new born babies who have Batten disease; a disease that creates for a lack of enzymes which “damages different parts of the brain and leads to seizures, blindness, loss of the ability to walk and speak and eventually death.” While it is not a common disease, 1 in 100,000, this clinic’s technological advancement could lead to preventing other fatal illnesses. Robert Steiner, head of the clinic’s trial, hopes “that this clinical trial will provide insight into a potential treatment option for this tragic disease.” The babies will have the stem-cells injected in to their brains by a doctor using a computerized map of the children’s brains. They hope the injected stem-cells will disperse amongst the brain and pump out the much-needed enzymes. What differentiates this testing from other previous testing for various diseases is the use of brain stem cells. Brain stem-cells have not taken the initiatory to become actual brain cells, which allow the stem-cells to potentially become many different types of cells. In other trials using stem-cells to combat diseases such as Parkinson’s and spinal cord injuries, mature brain cells, that are already on their way to becoming a specific type of cell, are used.

The protagonist of Gattaca, Vincent, was born of natural conception classifying him as an “invalid.” In order for a human to become an astronaut in the Gattaca Aerospace Corporation, the person must be a “valid.” Vincent’s life-long dream is to fly in space, a dream that seems unreachable not because of inferior intelligence, but due to his imperfect genetic make-up. He completes his goal of flying to Titan by assuming the identity of a “valid,” who had become a paraplegic, by using his DNA and bodily fluids.

The society created by Niccol developed discrimination much different than discrimination in the present culture. Rather than discriminating on basis of color, race, and religion, the impartiality has evolved in to discrimination of one’s genetic coding. In theory, genetic discrimination could be advantageous to allow the “perfect”

Continue for 3 more pages »  •  Join now to read essay A Comparison of Genetic Engineering in Gattaca to Modern Stem-Cell Research and other term papers or research documents
Download as (for upgraded members)
txt
pdf
Citation Generator

(2009, 12). A Comparison of Genetic Engineering in Gattaca to Modern Stem-Cell Research. EssaysForStudent.com. Retrieved 12, 2009, from https://www.essaysforstudent.com/essays/A-Comparison-of-Genetic-Engineering-in-Gattaca-to/19511.html

"A Comparison of Genetic Engineering in Gattaca to Modern Stem-Cell Research" EssaysForStudent.com. 12 2009. 2009. 12 2009 <https://www.essaysforstudent.com/essays/A-Comparison-of-Genetic-Engineering-in-Gattaca-to/19511.html>.

"A Comparison of Genetic Engineering in Gattaca to Modern Stem-Cell Research." EssaysForStudent.com. EssaysForStudent.com, 12 2009. Web. 12 2009. <https://www.essaysforstudent.com/essays/A-Comparison-of-Genetic-Engineering-in-Gattaca-to/19511.html>.

"A Comparison of Genetic Engineering in Gattaca to Modern Stem-Cell Research." EssaysForStudent.com. 12, 2009. Accessed 12, 2009. https://www.essaysforstudent.com/essays/A-Comparison-of-Genetic-Engineering-in-Gattaca-to/19511.html.