Essay on Genetic Engineering
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Sample Essay on Genetic Engineering
Two years ago, genetically engineered bacteria, which unexpectedly killed beneficial soil fungi, escaped into sewers through human error and have become toxic to plants and survived when expected not to. These are the sorts of consequences that come with playing God. DNA, the chemical compound that makes up genes and determines types of proteins a cell can make, is the core of genetic engineering. It can be manipulated in ways we could never dream of such as a new species of a cat woman or fish man.
There are many questions researchers must ask each other before making any sort of decision that would affect the future of genetic engineering toward humans. The risks of DNA combinations can be enormous and unexpected such as the formation of bacteria resistant to antibiotics, linkage of DNA molecules with tumor-causing viruses and the introduction of toxin-formation or antibiotic resistant genes. Thus all risks must be taken into consideration. Genetic engineering has already been demonstrated in cattle and studies have shown linkage of DNA molecules with ulcers, cancer and heart disease.
Unfortunately, regulation of biochemical research ethics has been erratic and half-hearted. The United States allowed its only national bioethics commission to expire in 1989. As for in-vitro research, the Reagan Administration cancelled federal funding a decade ago. As a result, work in this area has been privately funded and unregulated disallowing any prevention of experiments and research of highly debated subjects, such as cloning.
It is a well-known fact that drugs and alcohol can damage a fetus. Drugs may damage chromosomes in the fetus, which may develop deformities, or even addiction to the drug. This information may be used for genetic engineering or cross breeding. If a person were to crossbreed a type of cucumber that has good resistance to disease, but tastes bad, and a cucumber with no immunity that tastes good, you may get a good tasting disease resistance cucumber. Then again, you may get a disease prone bad tasting cucumber. It depends on the dominance of the genes involved.
Another aspect of genetics is evolution. Evolution is a series of mutations that result positively. For example, once ducks had no webbing on their feet. Only mutant ducks had webbing at the time. The mutant ducks were better swimmers, so they survived attacks from predators while ducks without webbing did not. Thus only ducks with webbed feet survived, and we have the modern duck. Man has, supposedly, evolved from apes in a similar manner. Both evolution and inherited traits are interested sciences, which may be important in the future. It may be possible, someday, to encourage evolution, and perhaps manipulate traits.
Reports on genetic engineering show that scientists and reporters rarely reveal the powerful dangers present. It demonstrates some regulation is desperately needed, even if it only limits the media and other publications. People need to know the truth, which includes both sides, good and bad, and in this case, especially the bad.
For many people, there is also a moral or ethical consideration. Many people feel strongly that it is not for humans to decide what each person is going to look and act like.
To them, the idea of playing God is an outrageous sin. If we look at this picture and understand the concept behind “The Angel weaving our genes to create us,” we see the importance of listening to other people and their beliefs.
Personally, I think genetic engineering should not be continued in research. I find it wrong to try and “play God” by altering the characteristic of a child. I was always told that everyone is different in their own way, and that will destroy that belief totally. I also think that if any alteration is dangerous at all, then all research on that topic should be discontinued. Therefore, I do not agree with genetic engineering for ethical and spiritual reasons.