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Controversy Over Genetic Engineering, An Essay About Genetics And Such.

1055 words - 4 pages

Controversy Over Genetic EngineeringDolly was a sheep that was the first living clone in its time, not a countrymusic star from Tennessee. This was a magnificent feat but what did it mean? To some it meant a world of possibility, to others it meant havoc. Who is right? Who is wrong? These questions are unanswerable which results in a never-ending controversy. This controversy over the benefits and dangers of genetic engineering in humans, animals and plants will live on forever. There are many benefits of genetic engineering. At the forefront of these benefits is preventing and curing illnesses. Imagine beating chronic, fatal diseases before they strike. Think of the lives, money, suffering and effort that could be saved if doctors could identify individuals that are genetically stricken with heart disease, cancer and many other diseases. Take cancer for example. Scientists are working on a way to alter the processes of the body's own immune system so that white T-Cells will attack cancerous tumors. The T- Cells will be biologically altered and engineered to perform a specific function unlike current T- Cells who don't have a specific antagonist to fight against (Hagelin 2001). If research is funded well enough so that it can continue, society will see an incurable disease such as cancer disappear like a rabbit in a hat.Other diseases that are known to be passed on genetically can also be curedusing gene therapy. A gene therapist could go into the embryo and find themutated gene that causes heart disease or high cholesterol and replace orextract the defective gene. This conception of prenatal gene therapy is derived from the idea that a doctor would be able to "test" an unborn baby for defections. Many people argue that the prenatal testing can be harmful due to social and medical implications (Wekesser 1996). These implications include malpractice and increased stress on the mother of the baby. Clearly, much controversy exists over prenatal gene therapy.Something that Uncle Sam has strongly prevented is the construction ofgenetically produced human organs. Naturally, these organs would be intended for a transplant involving the person who had the organ produced (Hagelin 2001). For example: Bob needs a liver within the next six months but cannot find a match. The answer is within Bob's own body. A genetic therapist would be able to extract a liver cell, clone it, grow a liver for Bob, and then transplant the organ into Bob.Medically, there are many barriers to break, but agriculturally there are few.Many of the foods we eat today are biologically produced. Apples and oranges are biotechnologically altered so that they are bigger and better.Biotechnicians are also producing microorganisms that prey on crop ruiningbacteria and the like (Woods 2000). There have even been experiments with farm animals that result in bountiful production of pork, beef and poultry therefore boosting the economy as a result of more agricultural profits (Wekesseer 1996)....

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