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The Engineering Of Human Genetics In Dreams And Nightmares

1519 words - 6 pages

Since the beginning of scientific research, the information discovered has led to many technological breakthroughs and advancements at a rapid pace. The velocity of the incoming discoveries may allow one to overlook the powerful emphasis we as humans hold over human life itself. While human research has been developing an understanding of Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) since Friedrich Miescher isolated the double-helix shaped molecule, efforts in recent decades to map the human genome have instigated a great amount of opportunity to the potential manipulation of the basic elements of life. This potential had escalated to a reality by 2001, as the first genetically altered babies had been born and were confirmed by scientists to be genetically altered. These successful operations have sparked a mass overflow of possibility and further technological advancements with regard to human genetic modification (Whitehouse). While there is an enormous amount of potential in human genetic modification, there is an equal amount of controversy that questions the ethics of such practices. For example, should the ability to modify a child’s genetic code be viewed as a technological possibility, or should it be a social obligation to ensure that all children are disease-free? Should it be the parents’ right to modify their unborn child’s genetic code to whatever they wish or see fit? Or should the fetus hold the right to live a life without genetic modification? There are many valid arguments for both positive and negative aspects of human genetic engineering. To make a claim concerning the ethics of human genetic engineering, one must analyze each potential point in order for their opinion to hold validity.
Human genetic engineering without a doubt is a major technological breakthrough and holds the potential to create great change on humanity. The first successful genetic modification aimed to eliminate a gene responsible for severe combined immunodeficiency disorder (SCID). However, the modification failed; by 2007 forty percent of the involved patients had developed leukemia. Though, to date, gene therapy has helped restore the immune systems of over twenty children with (SCID). The modification of human genetics also holds the potential to eliminate other genetic mutations such as asthma, allergies, susceptibilities to diseases, and other various unwanted genetic dispositions. While all of the listed possibilities are positive advancements in genetic modification, not all possibilities hold all positive outcomes.
There is an opposition to the practice of human genetic engineering that centers on what many would consider unimportant. For example, wealthy parents making sure their child has the physical appearance of a runway model or a professional athlete. Human genetic engineering possesses the potential for parents to alter their child’s physical appearance. Parents would be able to decide their child’s gender, eye color, hair color, and other forms of...

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