Genetic Engineering Essay

1437 words - 6 pages

In todays society we experience a lot of controversial topics and hot button issues. New breakthroughs in science and technology can leave people upset and not ready for change. One of the most prevalent examples of a controversial science is genetic engineering. The modification of genes is becoming a popular application in science, but some people aren’t ready. Genetic engineering will play a big part in the scientific world in the next few years. Most people don’t think this is a good thing, but the use of genetic modification can increase the worlds standard of living by letting scientists dictate how everyday things can be rigged to benefit humanity.
There are plenty of naysayers when it comes to tampering with genes. A lot of the people who are against this practice think about hypotheticals and a future where the strength of genes affects quality of life (“Ethical... Engineering”). They also believe that the technology could be used to produce bioweapons, and therefore is too dangerous of a science to pursue. This fear of science creating weapons is brought up every time a new way to do things is discovered. Should we not produce nuclear energy because of the nuclear bomb? Should the cavemen have harnessed the power of fire, even though houses burn down every year? Sometimes when moving two steps forward we take one step back. This does not mean we should not move forward. Skeptics of genetic modification believe that genetics will be commercialized and influence social behavior. The truth is, scientists do not do many genetic experiments on humans unless it is in the medical field. In the U.K., 96% of genetic procedures are done on mice (“Ethical... Modification”).
Genetic modification has been around for longer than one might think. The modification of an animal's genes was first recorded in 1976 (“Ethical... Modification”). The practice of using animals became common in the 1980s. After that genetic procedures were common when being used for medicine. The commercial production of insulin is possible because of genetic technology. Pharmaceutical industries today rely on genetic engineering to help create new medicines and test new cures. Genetic engineering is also used on plants to try and eliminate pesticides and encourage growth (“Genetically... Helpful”). The most controversial use of genetic modification is the method of fertilization in which genetic diseases are detected, but this is only used in special cases. The medical, scientific, and agricultural benefits of genetic engineering are clearly a good reason to continue genetic research.
One of the biggest impacts that genetic engineering has are in the field of medicine. Right now there are many life saving treatments that use genetics. Parents can use PGD (Preimplantation genetic diagnosis) to save their child from a hereditary disease that would affect a childs life. Introduced in the early 90’s, this method of predetermining diseases was used for STDs...

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