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How Genetic Engineering Will Affect The Human Race In Gattaca

1863 words - 7 pages

If you could change things about yourself whether physical or mental, what would you change, and why? In the movie Gattaca, a science fiction film directed by Andrew Niccol, characters are genetically modified before birth to avoid all and any imperfections that could occur in their lifetime. This movie stars Ethan Hawke and Jude Law as the main characters Vincent Freeman and Eugene Morrow. Supporting roles are played by Uma Thurman and Loren Dean as Irene Cassini and Anton Freeman. Gattaca gives us a futuristic idea of how genetic engineering will affect the human race and discriminate those of less genetic superiority. Eugene Morrow, a member of the elite who has been genetically engineered, donates his DNA to join to become a borrowed ladder with main character Vincent. Eugene is a perfect example of genetically engineered child in the representation of his attitude as well as the way he acts. Though Gattaca may not specifically state whether genetic engineering is safe for reality, the understanding of what genetic engineering is and evaluating whether genetic engineering affects traits and personality is crucial to the understanding of this movie.
Biologically, genetic engineering is understood as the “process of making changes in the DNA code of living organisms” (Miller 1094). The process beings with scientists identifying the DNA sequence. The next step of this process would be to use enzymes to cut the gene at specific points. A(n) enzyme is a protein that acts as a biological stimulus, and in this case is used to control the chemical reactions. The third step of this process is copying the gene which can also be called transcription. Next up will be the creation of the gene package by adding other DNA to both ends of the gene, adding it to the sticky ends. The final step of this process is inserting these cells back into the organism to see if it still survives. To show an example of this process, Dolly was a domestic sheep that was cloned by an adult’s cell. It took 277 attempts to create Dolly, and the success rate when cloning animals is very low. Dolly was a healthy clone proving that a cell taken from a specific part of the body could recreate a whole individual. Dolly was put down due to her suffering of lung disease and arthritis. Genetic engineering has both similarities and differences. The objective of both genetic engineering and traditional breeding is they both attempt to improve an organism’s traits. Though genetic engineering moves genes from one organism to another, traditional breeding moves genes through mating. Traditional breeding is effective in improving traits due to natural selection. “Since breeding relies on the ability to mate two organisms to move genes, trait improvement is basically limited to those traits that already exist within that species. Genetic engineering, on the other hand, physically removes the genes from one organism and places them into the other. This eliminates the need for mating and...

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