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Lessons From Frankenstein: The Dangers Of Toying With Science

1209 words - 5 pages

For mankind, the basic, most general use of technology, is to assist people in solving problems. Over the last several decades, the rate of technological progress has skyrocketed with the emergence of new and innovative discoveries. There is much promising research currently taking place, some that hold high risks despite the heavy rewards. For example, scientists have been cloning cells and tissues for years, and although the idea of cloning another human may seem fantastical, that possibility is well within grasp. However, despite the potential advantages of the research, humans must decide whether the benefits of human cloning outweigh the negative consequences of venturing into this gray area of ethics and morals. Mary Shelley explores the consequences of pursuing this forbidden knowledge in her novel, Frankenstein, where her scientist, Victor, creates a replica of human life in an effort to benefit mankind. However, Victor's plan backfires, and his experiment goes terribly awry. Just as Frankenstein's venture into the unknown sciences failed, it is entirely likely that our own experiments will do the same and make human cloning an unviable solution for mankind's problems.
In Frankenstein, Victor's negative actions cause his creation to turn against him. Although there are no current rebellions of human creations, there is still a negative connotation attached to cloning. The original controversy surrounding the issue involved the ethics of using stem cells for the research and the experiments. Acquiring these stem cells involved scientists to pull the cells from human embryos, which would inevitably result in the destruction of those embryos. James Thomson, a biologist at the University of Wisconsin said “if human embryonic stem cell research does not make you at least a little bit uncomfortable, you have not thought about it enough.” With all the moral and ethical questions surrounding topic, the research was essentially halted until Shinya Yamanaka of Japan's Kyoto University discovered a process that could reprogram any cell into reverting back into their original stem cell state. With his discovery, the controversy of stem cells' origin could finally be put aside, because no human embryos were in harms way. However, just because it is possible to finally create stem cells, does that automatically reserve us the right to continue on our way with the human cloning, just because we can? And furthermore, is there a real need to?
Victor Frankenstein's primary goal was to benefit mankind with his research. Without a doubt, Victor felt that his creation would help science and eventually the world. In reality, our scientists' motivation is much the same. Cloning originally began on the molecular level with a process known as Polymerase Chain Reaction, or PCR. PCR was used by scientists to copy certain strands of DNA for research and experiments to ensure that many tests could be run at once without risk of the original strand being harmed....

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