Genetic Engineering – Friend or Foe
Genetic Engineering is a technology in which the gene can be altered and transferred from one organism and inserting it to another organism. When these genetically engineered organisms are cultured, they produce human protein. The proper terminology for Genetic Engineering is ‘Recombinant DNA technology’.
To some people Genetic Engineering is a mean of solving the global problems of disease and to increase plant and animal productivity to supply food for an overpopulated world. Other people worry that this technology can open a door of dangers far greater than the problem they are trying to solve. “Like natural DNA, it becomes liable to random mutation, so that its future behavior could be dangerously unpredictable”. (General Studies (GS) book by Victor Watton)
Genetic engineering poses unprecedented ethical, moral, and social concern, as well as serious challenges to the environment, human health, animal welfare, and the future of agriculture. In this essay we will be looking at some of the advantages and the benefit that Genetic engineering brings to us and the disadvantage and the effect that it have. At the end of this essay there will be a conclusion to my essay and my personal views on Genetic Engineering.
What are the benefit and the effect of Genetic Engineering?
Genetic Engineering increase plant and animal productivity to supply food for us but it will almost certainly endanger species and reduce biological diversity. Genetic engineering in food could lead to the increase in the use of chemicals in agriculture and further contamination of the environment. Some people might think that this is a good way of making good product in which they select the best plant/animal and using it genes to make the same one but what about those people who are allergic to a certain type of food?
Some people could develop sensitivity to a Genetic Engineering food gradually after being exposed to it over time, whereas others might have acute allergic reaction after eating a minute amount. Some scientists believe that eating Genetic Engineering food contain a marker genes which is used in human and veterinary medicine could encourage gut bacteria to develop antibiotic resistance. “These antibiotic resistance bacteria kill more people every year than road accidents”. (Genetic Engineering, food, and our environment book by Luke Anderson)
In medicine Genetic Engineering could be use to help cure people with genetic disorder such as cystic fibrosis, sickle-cell anaemia and muscular dystrophy. This method is called ‘Gene therapy’. In ‘Gene therapy’, they are hoping to repair faulty genes or that their gene products may be supplied by inserting a ‘normal’ gene into an organism’s body to correct a genetic disorder. At the moment it can only be used to diagnose genetic abnormalities early in pregnancy. It is not at an advance stage where they can provide cures for them. ‘Gene therapy’ might not entirely cure people with genetic disorder because there might be a side affect to those people who are not suitable for ‘Gene therapy’ and in a long term run there might be problem with the gene i.e. mutation. “Genes tend to interact in their effects. There is no way of knowing how the introduction of one gene may affect all the others”. (GS book by Victor Watton)
Genetic Engineering has religious issues such as that it is going against what God intended. What some religion believes is that God have given everything that we ever needed in life and that we should not go against it. We are going against as we are try to make thing the way we want it to be not the way that God want it to be. Genetic Engineering is ‘tampering with nature’ (GS book by Victor Watton), we going against what ‘nature knows best’.
Genetic Engineering can be used to modify the behavior and characteristics of human, it is useful in a way that we can create the type of people who are unlikely to have any disease at all. Then there might be a decrease in the amount of disease that is around. The bad side to it is that we might create new disease that we have not come across and dealing with it will be a difficult.
Even though it is good to choose the type of child you want, it is not a good idea because it will cost a lot of money and for those people who are poor, they might want a child who is intelligent so that they can help make money for them. But what if these children go against their parent because they find out that their parent wanted them that way and so the whole will just be a disaster.
Genetic Engineering in long term could lead a future where your life is started with your parents designing your genes. In addition to screening for unwanted diseases, they will select your sex, height, eye, hair and skin colour. This could lead to the world being unequal due to the fact that parents get to choose the sex of their child and so for example, there might be twice the amount of male to female.
The benefit of Genetic Engineering help us in some way and can also harm us, but once it harm us then there will be no stop to it. Genetic Engineering is probably the largest ethical problem that science has ever had to face. If it was to go ahead in this direction it may not be unwise but dangerous. Potentially, it could breed new animal and plant disease, new source of cancer.
Genetic Engineering should be used in a safe and effective way to the benefit of both individuals in particular and mankind in general. Scientific researches will therefore continue but should keep in mind that the purpose of it is to find a way of which it is useful to us and have no harm to us.