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Genetic Engineering Essays

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Just imagine the scene: and newlywed wife and husband are sitting down with a catalog, browsing joyously, pointing and awing at all the different options, fantasizing about all the possibilities that could become of their future. Is this a catalog for new furniture? No. This catalog for all features, phenotype and genotype, for the child they are planning to have. It is basically a database for parents to pick and choose all aspects of their children, from the sex of the child, to looks, and even to personality traits. Parents since the beginning of time have “planned” to have children, but never have they been able to legitimately “plan” out their child. This scene does not seem typical for our time and age, but truthfully it is what is becoming of our world. Through substantial research and experimentation that is taking place, scientists, specifically biologists, are becoming keener to the field of engineering. Genetic engineering that is.
When one thinks of “genetic engineering,” the first thought is probably a perfect child, or paradoxically some inconceivable creature, forged under the microscope in a scientific laboratory. Though both of these are genetic engineering, many people do not consider other things, such as genetic engineering of agriculture and medicine, both of which are extremely useful. Through the genetic altering of plants and crops, scientists have been able to manipulate their genes to withstand lower temperatures, to resist herbicides and insects, and to even extending shelf life of some particular products (Gert 1). This technology has made farmers more prosperous, as well as given the population more food that will last longer. In medicine, “a patent has already been applied for to mix human embryo...


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...engineering gone too far?” 1). The creation of “chimeras,” animals containing cells from another animal, has been one of the biggest controversial topics in genetic engineering (ibid). Researchers fret over creating new diseases by combining genes to make new ones (ibid). If this were to happen, political figures may step in and enforce strict guidelines and regulations for genetic engineering. In fact, in 2006, President George Bush asked to prohibit the creation of “human-animal hybrids” (ibid). Other scientists retaliate by claiming that these “chimeras” can help find cures to known diseases, and could become one of the most helpful tools in their arsenal of ideas for the future (ibid). Either way, whether or not the use of chimeras is acceptable is debatable. If used, they could bring up new problems as well as solve old ones that have riddled us for decades.



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