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Genetic Engineering

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Essay title: Genetic Engineering

Introduction

Technology has a significant influence across the world, as it has become a fast growing field. Modern biotechnology has been in the major forefront of this influence. From the discovery of DNA to the cloning of various animals, the study of genetic engineering has changed the way society views life. However, does genetic engineering have the capacity to influence the world to its best abilities? Products, which are genetically engineered, may cause severe negative effects on our society. This industry, carrying the potential of leading us toward the unnatural selection of humans to possibly environmental disasters will put humankind in peril. Society, along with humankind, will be in jeopardy since to genetic engineering has the potential of being disastrous.

Background

Genetic Engineering is the deliberate alteration of an organism's genetic information (Lee 1). The outcome scientists refer to as successful entitles the living thing’s ability to produce new substances or perform new functions (Lee 1). In the early 1970’s, direct manipulation of the genetic material deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) became possible and led to the rapid advancement of modern biotechnology (Lee 1).

The dangers of human cloning

Cloning is a process by which genetically equal organisms are created with the same DNA. In simplest terms, clones are like twins born at different times. This procedure poses various dangers to society and humankind. One of the greatest threats this procedure creates is among

been made possible but yet a majority of them have died in early stages of development or after birth according to the study of the cloned sheep, Dolly (Magalhгes 1). Those who make it suffer from several defects acquired from birth (Magalhгes 1). During recent experimentation it took scientist Ian Wilmut of the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland, and his colleagues who created Dolly (a cloned sheep) 277 tries before they got a healthy, feasible lamb (Human Cloning 1). Due to the complication of human cloning even more deaths and deadly birth defects can be expected (Human Cloning 1). Even though human cloning has never been performed, one likely possibility is that babies born through this process will as well feature lethal birth defects (Magalhгes 1).

Genetic engineering has also opened the doors for humans to choose the different various traits they wish their offspring to feature by unnaturally selecting them. The unnatural selection of humans may have begun as a result of a new type of discrimination due to genetic screening (Cummins 4). As of today, people are constantly being denied of health insurance because of so-called “faulty” genes, which makes them liable to genetic disorders according to Ronnie Cummins, Director of the Campaign for Food Safety/Organic Consumers Association (Cummins 4). Genetic engineering is already being used to “improve” the human race through a practice called eugenics and with the application of genetic screening, it has made it easier to identify and abort fetuses that carry genes for certain disorders (Cummins 4). The practice to “improve” a race was the foundation of Adolf Hitler’s and the Nazis’ genocide of the Jews during the Holocaust. The idea of human cloning was originally designed to assist and benefit humankind not to

rid society of non-life-threatening illnesses, such as the “gay gene” or purely for cosmetic reasons, to “improve” the human race.

Gene therapy and its danger

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines gene therapy as the insertion of normal or genetically altered genes into cells usually to replace defective genes especially in the treatment of genetic disorders. Gene therapy may cause devastating effects to the human gene pool. Recent studies in France have caused federal authorities to suspend three gene therapy experiments due to the latest news of a third child in a French study developed leukemia and that one of the three has died (Maugh II 16). According to Dr. Robertson Parkman of the University of South California, a member of Dr. Donald Kohn of the Keck School of Medicine at USC team which are designated to treat patients with gene therapy said that there are risks associated with most therapies (Maugh II 16). The death of a child in the most recent French study was a tragedy but according to Dr. Parkman, half of those treated with the best available alternatives to gene therapy will either die of their disease or suffer lifelong complications from the therapy (Maugh II 16). Along with the three little boys who developed a leukemia-like disease in a French study an 18-year-old volunteer Jesse Gelsinger, died in 1999 when he experienced

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