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Is Genetic Engineering Ethically Right? Essay

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Described at its most simple, ethics can be described as a socially constructed set of behaviours and beliefs deemed either acceptable or unacceptable by the vast majority of people. Ethical beliefs can vary somewhat from person to person and are ever changing and malleable (www.ncbi.nlm.gov/pubmed/15289521). There are three main ethical theories used by present day philosophers; these are Meta-ethics, Normative ethics and Applied ethics. Meta-ethics focuses on the nature of moral judgement and the foundation of ethical principles. Normative ethics involves the content of moral judgement and the basis of right and wrong and, lastly, applied ethics covers contentious moral subjects such as capital punishment, animal welfare and war-fare (Bbc.co.uk, 2013 ). Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) resides in the nucleus of every cell in an organism. Each strand of DNA consists of millions of chemical blocks known as bases, there are four types of base that make up DNA: adenine, thymine, cytosine and guanine. Genes are segments of DNA; they act as instructions, governing all aspects of a lifeform from appearance to behaviour (Nordvquist, 2008). Genetic engineering, also frequently referred to as genetic modification, is the manipulation of an organism's DNA in such a way that would alter said organism's characteristics and traits-often introducing into the organism traits which would not usually be found in the species (Agbiosafety.unl.edu, 2001) . Genetic engineering has opened new avenues- the fields of medicine and agriculture are, but two paths that have benefitted. Insulin and Human Growth Hormone (HGH) have both been created from altered E.Coli bacteria as well as various treatments for many cancers, HIV and heart attacks whereas the world...


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...-11-01/genetic-engineering-in-medicine-vaccines-blood-albumin-from-rice/ [Accessed: 12 Feb 2014].
Gower, T. 2007. Discovery Health "History of Insulin". [online] Available at: http://health.howstuffworks.com/medicine/medication/history-of-insulin.htm [Accessed: 12 Feb 2014].
MedicineNet. 2014. ALBUMIN - INJECTION (Albumin, Albuminar, Buminate, Plasbumin) side effects, medical uses, and drug interactions.. [online] Available at: http://www.medicinenet.com/albumin-injection/article.htm [Accessed: 12 Feb 2014].
Nhs.uk. 2012. Diabetes, type 1 - NHS Choices. [online] Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Diabetes-type1/Pages/Introduction.aspx [Accessed: 12 Feb 2014].
Nordvquist, C. 2008. What is a gene?. [online] Available at: http://www.medicalnewstoday/articles/120574 [Accessed: 12 Feb 2014].
Panza, C. K. 2010. Ethics for dummies. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley Pub., Inc.


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