The inserted gene could even code for something harmful to humans. These problems may not even be immediately noticed and are hard to stop once cattle have been bred, crops sown or distributed. On the other hand, the benefits to humans are obvious where gene replacement has been successful in improving aspects of food production. For example, production costs can be lowered and health, taste and look of a product maximised.
Equally, a lot of food shortage problems in the Third World could be solved by adapting crops to grow in such harsh conditions. An extreme idea of the future of meat production Man Made Life- Jeremy Cherfas involves the engineering of entirely new forms of meat: Personally the idea of this is extremely unappealing but it is clear that the efficiency of meat production would rocket as the result of such an advance.
In addition, the resources saved in such forms of meat production could be used elsewhere for human benefit. An example of another controversial but popentially beneficial form of genetic engineering is the alteration of pig DNA to suit human immunology. Recently the problem of organ donor shortage has become apparent due to increases in road safety and life saving technology.
A simple solution is to use pig organs which function in similar ways and have a similar size to human organs. The immunology of pigs is also similar to that of humans but there is still the problem of organ rejection.
Human antibodies would recognize the pig tissue as foreign and either destroy it or cause harm to the recipient. The solution is to change the antigenic properties of the pig tissue by genetically introducing human DNA that won't be rejected by the human immune system. Hence a breed of pigs containing human elements in their DNA was created.
The obvious benefits would be a ready supply of organs not dependant on the death of a. The main problem consists of the possible introduction of new diseases to humans. A particular retrovirus has been discovered which, harmless to pigs, has the potential to cause severe ill effects in humans.
All the previously mentioned applications of genetic engineering have had clear benefits to the human species in spite of equally apparent risks. However, one of the perhaps most dangerous risks of the new advances is their undeniable potential for biological warfare. This potential for engineering deadlier and more resistant infections or diseases scares all nations.
Weapons could now be directed at the water supply or even crops grown by the enemy. Strains of pathogens could be tailored to the enemies strain of livestock or crops, starving a nation into surrender. By changing other common diseases, an antidote could be found to vaccinate allied populations while only the enemy would suffer. The benefit to the inflicting power is removal of enemy population without destroying buildings and resources as an atomic weapon would.
Since all sides are likely to have some form of biological weapon, however, none would go unaffected, thereby causing large scale suffering. This problem would be worsened if fast spreading diseases were used - without treatment whole populations could disappear in very little time.
I feel that although some of the applications of actual genetic 'engineering' could be of immense use to humans as the applications of gentic testing already are , too little is known about genetic structure to inflict the risks involved on the population. Despite this, genetically altered food has already started to fill the supermarkets, only labelled as such if genetically altered substance is present and not when genetic engineering has taken place in the production process.
Surely with advances at this rate, these visions of the future of genetic engineering are not as far off as I would like to think. The potential risks involved to humanity rank alongside developments such as nuclear power in that the extent to which the whole population of this planet could be affected, is immense. Equally, the wide range of applications of genetic engineering make it possibly of the greatest use since the discovery of electricity.
It is worth remembering, when the risks of the use of nuclear power became apparent to the scientists and ethical considerations started amongst the scientific community, the decision was taken out of the scientists' hands by political powers- which resulted in the disaster of Hiroshima. It is possible that the technological advances with genetic engineering could lead to equally or even more disastrous effects. It seems to me, that decisions regarding these technological tools are of a highly moral nature and need to be regarded as the responsibility of all of humanity.
It is debatable and unclear, which form this 'taking of responsibility' should take, - but it seems to me that a wide international public debate is required about the issues involved. Of course if the gene is corrected without further negative effects, the genetic disorder has been successfully eliminated; but if a problem arises it could pass on. The obvious benefits would be a ready supply of organs not dependant on the death of a healthy person as well as advance preparation time for the transplant to minimise the risk of rejection.
British Medical Journal Vol. Heineman Oxford - J. We were created a certain way and it goes against nature, and religion, to pick and choose how we want our children to be. Do they have the right to predetermine how their baby will look, what genes they will carry, and for what purpose?
Who determines what traits are acceptable? This brings us to the question; why are only wealthy couples able to prevent their children from developing genetically inherited diseases? This could cause inequalities between the rich and poor classes in society.
If this practice is allowed and becomes socially acceptable, would governments have a role to play in making it available to its entire people for the benefit of society at large? Designer Babies, The Future, , http: However, by venturing down a path of creating perfectly healthy babies that are disease and disability free, as a society we would be removing the naturalism that already exists within the world.
This may result in a new wave of negative perceptions of ordinary people without these genetic enhancements. Will this super class of humans widen the gap of discrimination between people with enhancements and those without? However, using genetic engineering to create super-children with superior intellects and perfect features is wrong. Science and technology has its place in helping the human race. It should be used to save lives and improve the quality of lives.
If designer babies were to become commonplace, individuality as we know it would most likely cease to exist. Not everyone would look exactly the same; some parents may want their baby to have brown eyes, as opposed to green. Other parents may want their child to be more tan skinned rather than fair skinned. But as a whole, many people would be pretty, healthy, and intelligent.
A society of pretty, healthy, and intelligent people may sound reasonable and even favourable, until the full social implications are considered. Genetic engineering is a great step on our journey to helping those in need. Whilst I understand how parents want their children to be perfect it is not moral to completely determine and change the future of an unborn child for the sake of appearances. Should Babies Be Genetically Engineered?
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This essay will discuss the impact of genetic engineering on everyday life, for example genetic disorders, disease and how its impact on life in the world today. Although the opinions differ greatly, the benefits are substantial.
Genetic Engineering Essay. Projects / Academic / Genetic Engineering Essay. GENETIC ENGINEERING - The benefits and problems. Genetic engineering is a powerful and potentially very dangerous tool.
Genetic Engineering in Food Production: Is it Safe, Wise, and Moral? Over the past couple of decades, the genetic engineering has been found and is regarded as the improvement of advanced technology in the field of biology. Genetic Engineering is a major issue in today's society. Because of it, things like the Human Genome Project have become a reality. Genetic Engineering is can be defined as the manipulation or alteration of the genetic structure of a single cell or organism. This means that scientists can target a /5(8).
Essay: Genetic engineering Genetic engineering is a technique involving the manipulation of an organism’s genome through the insertion of a gene, removal of a nucleotide sequence or alteration of a gene’s ability to express itself. Nowadays many people are not really sure what genetic engineering is. This essay sample discusses such questions as cloning and gene modifications.