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Human Genetic Engineering In Beneficial To Society

1836 words - 7 pages

Even after thousands of years of evolution, the human race is not perfect: it is ravaged by disease and limited by nature. Yet, in recent times, researchers have begun to ascertain an advanced understanding of the underlying genetic code of humanity. The Human Genome Project, now complete, has provided a map of the intricacies in human DNA, allowing researchers to begin looking at the purpose of each gene. When combined with selective embryo implantation, which is used occasionally today to avoid hereditary diseases or to choose gender, genetic discoveries can become a sort of artificial evolution. By changing the genes in embryos before implantation, humanity has the potential to control many aspects of its offspring. The human race should welcome human genetic engineering, because the technology will inevitably be used, is ethically sound, and provides opportunity for advancement in prevention of disease and enhancement of the human body.
Modification of the human genome will occur as a natural result of genetic research, even if it does not directly pertain to reshaping human DNA. In areas such as agriculture and breeding, genetics already plays an important role in determining success. In just a few decades, genetically altered crops went from laboratories to farmland, foreshadowing the success of similar projects in humans in the future. Techniques scientists use to adjust the nature of plants are antecedents to slightly modified procedures that are today used to change the DNA of animals. In Redesigning Humans, Gregory Stock describes a specific way genetics is already used to determine traits, saying, “This is not pie-in-the-sky genetic design. Capecchi’s lab has already used the technique…in a mouse chromosome” (Stock 71). The natural procedure for research in medicine or any science is to experiment first with animals and then with humans, making the latter the next step for human genetic engineering. The methods are already forming; therefore in the future society will use them, just as humanity embraced the steam engine or antibiotics. Already, “A personal-genomics company in California has been awarded a broad U.S. patent for a technique that could be used in a fertility clinic to create babies with selected traits, as the frontiers of genetic enhancement continue to advance” (Naik). Through the issuing of a patent, the government has shown acceptance for the inevitability of human genetic enhancement, because instead of ignoring it, leaders have begun to place limitation on it. The patent will encourage competition as more companies fight over more genes, pushing progress faster than ever. However, the public is not always as supportive as those looking to make a profit, for example, in a recent poll at Dartmouth medical school where a professor asked students if they supported human genetic engineering, “…more than 80 percent said no” (Green). Many of the doubts about the technology come from a lack of...

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