Genetic Engineering Essay

627 words - 3 pages

Genetic Engineering

Two years ago, genetically engineered bacteria, which unexpectently killed beneficial soil fungi, escaped into sewers through human error and have become toxic to plants and survived when expected not to.3 These are the sorts of consequences that come with playing God. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) - the chemical compound that makes up the genes and determines the type of proteins a cell can make - is the core of genetic engineering. It can be manipulated in ways we could never dream of such as a new species of a catwoman or fishman.

There are so many questions that each person must ask each other before making any sort of decision that would effect the future of genetic engineering towards humans. The risks of DNA combinations can be enormous and unexpected such as the formation of bacteria resistant to antibiotics, linkage of DNA molecules with tumour-causing viruses and the introduction of toxin-formation or antibiotic resistant genes.1

Thus all risks must be taken into consideration. Genetic engineering has already been demonstrated in cattle and studies have shown linkage of DNA molecules with ulcers, cancer and heart disease.1

Unfortunately, regulation of biochemical research ethics has been erratic and half-hearted for years. The United States allowed its only national bioethics commission to expire in 1989. 2 As for in-vitro research, the Reagan Administration cancelled federal funding a decade ago. 2 So work in this area has been privately funded and unregulated disallowing any prevention of experiments and research of highly debated subjects, such as cloning.

Reports on genetic engineering show that scientists and reporters rarely reveal the powerful dangers at present. It just shows that some regulation is desperately needed. Even if it only limits the media and other publications. People need to know the truth and the whole truth and nothing but...

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