Genetic Engineering In Humans What Is It Capable Of

Human genetic engineering is one of the most controversial aspects of a science, which is itself highly controversial, and it is still very much in its infancy. There have been a few isolated cases where an illness has been successfully cured by the use of genetic therapy, but there have also been other cases where patients have contracted diseases such as leukemia through experimentation with this type of therapy. At this stage it is impossible to say exactly what the future will hold, or exactly what the consequences of these developments will be.

So far, the only successes which the method has are in treating conditions relating to the human immune system. This is an obvious application of the technology, as the condition is caused purely by genetic factors. By replacing a gene which gives the patient a proclivity towards the disease with a healthy one a cure can be effected. This is more than just theory, as the numbers of cases where this has been successfully carried out is now into double figures, and is constantly increasing. The challenge lies in overcoming the potentially catastrophic side effects which can occur if the treatment does not work.

One of the most controversial of all applications of this technology is in allowing infertile mothers to conceive. This is done by using the eggs from a different mother, leaving the child with the genetic blueprint inherited from three people. This will then be passed on through future generations, leading to untold potential complications. It is still far too early to judge the potential consequences of the use of this type of genetic technology, but if there are any negative side effects they are likely to be far reaching and extremely damaging.

types of genetic engineering

There have been many arguments put forward concerning human genetic engineering, some strongly in favor and some equally strongly against. The potential is there for diseases caused by genetics to be eliminated completely, and this is there area in which fewest dissenting voices will be heard. The use of genetics purely to overcome fertility is far more controversial, especially when you consider the permanent effect that this has on all future generations of that family. There are also many dissenters against the possibility of parents deciding features of their children using an advanced form of this technology, which cannot be used yet but which may be perfectly possible in the future.

If this technology is left unchecked it will definitely have far reaching consequences. There is no doubt that wealthy families would take advantage of such technology to try to give their children every advantage in their future life, and there could be several possible outcomes of this. One would be a rise in productivity and creativity which would penetrate through society, raising the standard of society for everyone and creating more opportunities. It is also possible that poor families who could not afford this technology would be left even further adrift, leading to sharp increases in crime rates, social disorder, and economic chaos.

genetic engineering

Even though strong opinions are held on both sides of the argument, the truth is that it is far too early to know for sure exactly what is involved with human genetic engineering. There are some philosophical and moral arguments which will prove exceedingly difficult to resolve one way or another, but there are potential consequences which cannot possibly be known until more research has been carried out. The arguments over this technology are certain to rage for a great many years to come, and it is unlikely there will ever be universal agreement on human genetic engineering.

 

 

 

Genetic Engineering News:

 

New treatments for cancer, diabetes, and heart disease -- you may have a pig to thank
( Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News ) Genetically engineered pigs, minipigs, and microminipigs are valuable tools for biomedical research, as their lifespan, anatomy, physiology, genetic make-up, and disease mechanisms are more similar to humans than the rodent models typically used in drug discovery research. A Comprehensive Review article entitled 'Current Progress of Genetically ...


Locally grown GMO corn used in effort to produce hepatitis B vaccine - The San Luis Obispo Tribune

The San Luis Obispo Tribune

Locally grown GMO corn used in effort to produce hepatitis B vaccine
The San Luis Obispo Tribune
Genetic engineering is the controversial practice of introducing new, desirable traits into plants by moving genes and other genetic elements, such as proteins, from one organism to another. .. of our mission is to equip students with the knowledge .

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Helping wheat defend itself against damaging viruses
A patent-pending technology has built resistance to certain viruses in wheat plants. These viruses can be an economic drain to wheat farmers by costing them 5 to 10 percent or more in yield reductions per crop. Although the technology involves genetic engineering, which is not an option for wheat in today's market, the research has extended to building this resistance in non-genetically ...


Biotech Scientist Dr. Debbie Yaver to Receive BIO Award, Sponsored by the Rosalind Franklin Society
Biotechnology Industry Organization :..


Synthetic biology, genetic engineering and you: Two-component signaling pathways as elements in synthetic circuit design
(Phys.org) EUR”Two of the most exciting areas of science and technology, synthetic biology and genetic engineering, have just taken a step towards a brave new future in which large-scale synthetic biological circuits composed of bioengineered logic gates, orthogonal to (that is, independent of) the host in which they operate, will enable a range of applications that include biosensors, gene ...


Is the Gene-Editing Revolution Finally Here?
A DNA-editing technique based on bacterial EURśmemoriesEURť could revolutionize medicine. But some worry it could get out of control -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com..


 

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