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Genetic Engineering: Playing God Essay

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Regenerating extinct species, engineering babies that are born without vital body organs, this is what the use of genetic engineering brings to the world.
     “In Greek myth, an chimera was a part lion, part goat, part dragon that lived in Lycia; in real life, it’s an animal customized with genes of different species. In reality, it could be a human-animal mixture that could result in horror for the scientific community. In myth the chimera was taken down by the warrior Bellerophon, the biotech version faces platoons of lawyers, bioethicists, and biologists” (Hager).
     In this paper, I am going to discuss what has already been done, the unethical side of genetics, and what will happen in the future if we continue to tinker. Genetics pose a major problem to the modern day world. With the deteriorating conditions of the earth today, the use of genetics will further break down our fragile planet.
     As of 1998, many experiments have been done in the field of genetics, in the next section, I will discuss a few.
First, genetics came into the public view in the early 1970’s when a scientist named Paul Berg began experimenting with a strain of E.coli bacteria called SV40. (Tagliaferro 69) This was the public beginning to the struggle surrounding genetics. Berg was not very intelligent about the way he conducted his tests, and he was forced to stop, until the National Institute of Health determined that SV40 was harmless to humans. (Tagliaferro 70)
The next major happening in genetics was the Asilomar Conference of 1973. The Asilomar conference was a good start, but it did not set strict enough standards for experimentation, and this caused many harsh, and disruptive experiments. Then in 1975, the second Asilomar conference was held. This conference helped a little, but it still left to much gray area for scientists to “play” in. (Tagliaferro 70) The Asilomar Conference were a gigantic step forward, but they still left the scientists with to much freedom. The government should have taken control of the industry when it had the chance, but it let the chance slip through its fingers.
After the Asilomar conferences, there were no major advancements until the early 1990’s. “In the early 1990’s private companies began experimenting with plants, and pesticides. They modified the plants, a...


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...ing that there are people in this world that are trying to bypass him, and play god themselves. I believe in god, and I do not see how people can actually let this go on. I could not live with myself, if I tried to be above the man himself, it is very disheartening to hear what goes on in this world.

Works Cited
Bryan, Jenny. “Reliving the Past”. Genetic Engineering. New York: Thomson Learning,
     1995.
“Genetics”. September 1998. Online. 2 January 1999.
Goldberg, William. “Genetics: Tomorrow and Beyond.” US News and World Reports, 7 May 1998: 41.
Hager, Mary, and Adam Rodgers. “A Biotech Roadblock.” Newsweek, 13 April 1998:
     66.
Levine, Louis. “Genetic Engineering”. Encarta Encyclopedia. CD-ROM. 1997.
Reiss, Michael, and Roger Straughan. “The Genetic Engineering of Humans”. Improving Nature:The Science and Ethics of Genetic Engineering. New York: Cambridge UP,1996.
Tagliaferro,Linda. “Who Should Regulate Genetic Engineering?”. Genetic Engineering: Progress or Peril? New York: Lerner Publications,1997.
Watson, George. “Genetic Tinkering: What are the Consequences?”. New Age Scientific Procedures. New York: Oxford UP, 1995.


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