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The Benefits Of Genetic Research Essay

1127 words - 5 pages

For as long as mankind has walked the Earth, there have always been things standing in its way; things scientists have taken centuries to try and understand. Finding the key to why someone has a pre-disposition to cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart problems, or even skin conditions like psoriasis, lays within their genetic make-up. Many remain reserved on the subject and insist that the risk of genetic testing isn’t worth the reward, though there is much evidence to the contrary. The debate on the benefits of genetic research and what they can do to help mankind has been argued with the help of extensive scientific testing, anonymous surveys, and rulings from our own Federal Government.
People are hesitant about genetic research for several reasons; most of them centered around the invasion of their privacy and the negative effects it could have on their lives were the information to be displayed publically. There’s also the sticky question of ownership when it comes to genetic material; does it belong to the patient being tested, or the scientists who discovers what’s being tested in the first place? Although steps have been taken via the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act to prevent a patient’s information from being accessed without their permission, there is still no law that will allow someone to put a patent on genetic material within a human body. (“21st-Century Genetics.” The New Genetics, 2010) Looking at a commonly known example, the Black Death, also known as bubonic plague, remains to be one of the worst cases of human casualty due to illness. The people of the 14th Century had very little knowledge of the inner workings of the human body and therefore chalked up most sicknesses to be works of the Devil or other invisible malevolent entities. If they had been able to take a microscopic look inside, they would have known that it was all centered around the bacteria upsetting the natural intricate order of cells and functions within the body. Dicing up a body back then to have a look at this roadmap seemed taboo, much like genetic testing does today. However if you consider losing another 150 million people to some unknown illness, the aspect of testing DNA and stem cells doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.
Stem cell research is an area largely unexplored because of all the red tape and stigma surrounding it. However these regenerative, self sustaining miracles could be the foundation of new milestones in medicine concerning bone structure, nerve damage, skin tissue, and so much more. A group of scientists in 2013 proposed that the use of epidermal skin cells and cells derived from hair follicles were the perfect places to start. These cells have the capability to renew themselves without relying on the rest of the human body to do so, and possess the ability to differentiate into other kinds of cells. (Jin, Gehua, Shin-Yi, and Xiaofeng, 2013) As a layman example, if the idea...

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