Genetic Engineering

Genetic Engineering

In the past genetic engineering has been used on crops and humans alike tit great success. A few years ago there was a study that “concluded that the biotech varieties increased the state’s food and fiber production by more than 10 million pounds, improved farm income by nearly $33 million, and reduced pesticide used by 776,000 pounds annually’ (Hammertoes 124). It is also worth noting that “most soybeans planted have been genetically engineered to resist the herbicide glasshouse” (Roller 1 1 These modifications allow the soybeans to grow without danger of suffering destruction along with weeds.

The benefits that arose from previous use of genetic engineering expand beyond plant life as well. Human lives have directly benefited through direct manipulation of the human genome as well. An example of said benefits includes a case where “gene therapy has been used to treat people with Parkinson disease” (Roller 43), as a result people’s lives are dramatically improved as they no longer suffer from impaired motor skills and speech. Genetic engineering also contains the potential of allowing mankind the chance to have “a mind that could learn more quickly, or having a more robust immune system” (Bistros 26).

These are merely a few examples of the ways genetic engineering has benefited mankind. However, despite the great benefits genetic engineering poses, the risks are equally great as well. If the modification is performed improperly the damage inflicted could prove to be irreversible. At one point when testing on animals it has been shown that “gremlin introduction of an improperly regulated normal gene resulted in poignancy of the modified animal with no obvious effects on development, but enhanced tumor incidence during adult life” (Hall 162).

Along with the fact that “although such methods may be undertaken to fabricate improved humans, in some cases, by accident or intent, the outcomes will be quasi-human or less than human” (Hall 1 64) people are hesitant to make this method of medicine wide spread. Another reason why people are worried about the mass populace utilizing this technology is due to the fact that some may consider it “a satanic act of disbelief and corruption that would change the nature with which God created human beings” (Echidna 190).

Other ethical concerns may include the “deep-seated fear of the further deterioration of social and familial values” (Echidna 192) that could possibly occur through the overuse of cloning and genetic engineering technology. As a result of these factors concerned individuals have spoken out against the use of such technologies in favor of safer and more commonly accepted methods of curing the ill and providing crops for harvest. Using pre-existing methods and playing it safe will only take humanity so far though.

Sometimes risks are required in order to create true progress and enable mankind to make great leaps to a brighter future. The possibilities of this technology include the potential that ‘Within 5 to 10 years replacement kidneys will be possible; within 10 to 15 years liver replacement will be a reality. Eventually, entire hearts can be made for reimplementation” (Histamine 37). As a matter of fact, “with this new information in hand, drugs can be developed to inhibit inflammation for viral infection, possibly even to stop AIDS” (Histamine 35).

As a result of these possibilities it can be said with a high degree of certainty that “within six to seven years, we will see a whole range of new drugs for diseases that have no Other treatment today” (Histamine 34). The overall goal of gene therapy is “to repair or replace faulty or missing genes with healthy genes, thus curing the patient’s disease” (Roller 14). Therefore through widespread use of this technology disease can become a relic of the past allowing everyone to live a longer and fuller life.

The potential for improvement holds true for plant life as well. After various testing performed by various scientists and experts it “is clearly evident, GM technology can quadruple its maize output, more than triple sweet potato output and increase banana output by eight times” (Hamburg 84). With this much crop increases multiplied by all farms throughout the world mankind can cause world hunger to disappear and replace it with excess food so that one shall have to worry about starving or going hungry ever again.

While there are some people who voice their concerns over the safety of genetically modified foods they can be assured that “rigorous testing takes place to ensure GM foods are safe” (Hamburg 82) and as a result “there is no evidence that genetically engineered foods currently on the market pose any human health concern or that they are any less safe than those foods produced through traditional breeding” (Hammertoes 122). This means that any potential health risks are discovered and rectified before the food is even lose to going on the shelves for consumers to purchase.

With these potential benefits mixed with the genuine feasibility of achievement they all hold shows that taking the risks involved will be well worth it. While there is no easy solution to the debate over genetic engineering there are compromises that can be made in favor of progress while minimizing the potential risks the modification Of genes involve. One compromise that can be made is leaving the decision of whether or not to eat genetically modified crops and have genetically modified organs up to the person themselves.

In he case of children, “some mothers and fathers might find it easier to love a child who, thanks to enhancements, is bright, beautiful, healthy, and happy’ (Bistros 25). The freedom of choice can be used to quell any debates to the point where choosing between genetically modified foods will be considered the same as deciding whether or not to practice vegetarianism. Besides, it has been said that “the wealthy countries have a responsibility to share their material as well as scientific resources with other under-privileged nations whose immediate needs do not go beyond treating common diseases like alarm and tuberculosis” (Echidna 196).

Another solution is using this technology for medical use only when all other options have been exhausted and it has been deemed absolutely necessary by experts such as usage within the case of “lawful male-female relationship to help infertility’ (Echidna 195). Once genetic engineering can and has been used at its most basic level, it will be seen that “genetic engineering holds great potential for alleviating unnecessary human suffering’ (Bistros 27). These solutions, while not perfect, can pave the way for a future where genetic engineering can be used o its fullest without scrutiny.

Regardless of the trials and tribulations it has faced, genetic engineering has proven that it is capable of saving lives and increasing people’s quality of life exponentially through its use on both crops and directly on the human genome. Within the next few years the world can be improved a great deal with simple application of currently existing technology to pre-existing methods of both medicine and agriculture. While the risks involved do exist, they pale in comparison to accomplishments gene modification already holds as well as the potential accomplishments that exist in the not too distant true.

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