Genetic Engineering: Is The Human Race Ready?

1491 words - 6 pages

It is incredible to see how far genetic engineering has come. Humans, plants, and any living organism can now be manipulated. Scientists have found ways to change humans before they are even born. They can remove, add, or alter genes in the human genome. Making things possible that humans (even thirty years ago) would have never imagined. Richard Hayes claims in SuperSize Your Child? that genetic engineering needs to have limitations. That genetic engineering should be used for medical purposes, but not for “genetic modification that could open the door to high-tech eugenic engineering” (188). There is no doubt that genetic engineering can amount to great things, but without limits it could lead the human race into a future that no one today could even imagine.
Agriculture is one area that has definitely been changed as a result of manipulating genes. Food can be grown indoors rather than growing it from the land. EPCOT, a part of Disneyworld in Florida is a fantastic place to see this in action. They actually grow some vegetables suspended in the air without their roots planted in anything. They have an entire ride dedicated to showing the new innovative ways Disney is growing plant life. It is a truly unforgettable experience seeing a plant hanging from the ceiling without any kind of pot attached. The usual scene of a plant is in the ground or in a pot, not hanging from the ceiling with its roots dangling below. They also had an intricate hydroponic system to guarantee the longevity of the plants. A reservoir was placed at the top of a spiral of plants that were segmented six to eight inches apart. This watering system watered the plants by water falling down from the very top plant, then trickling through each plant until it reached the last plant and dripped onto the ground. Genetic engineering has been used to make plants that are pest-resistant so that less of the crops are destroyed. These pest resistant plants yield higher quantities of food. Manipulation of plants has also made it possible for food to last longer. But just because there is more of it and it lasts longer, does not mean that it is better. Many people are concerned about what genetic engineering will do to the food that they eat, causing them to choose to buy organic because organic foods are naturally grown.
As well as having the ability to alter plant life, this technology is also said to be able to alter or manipulate human genes. Scientists are finding ways to manipulate certain genes to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, as well as depression. In the essay, Richard Hayes writes, “Last year Science magazine reported that a variant of the human 5-HTT gene reduces the risk of depression following stressful experiences” (185). By inserting the variant of that gene into embryos, some babies could have a chance at never experiencing depression. This would be an amazing feat, to be able to give a child a chance to never have to feel the...

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