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:

 

Scientists Closer To Creating A Fully Synthetic Yeast Genome - NPR

NPR

Scientists Closer To Creating A Fully Synthetic Yeast Genome
NPR
"You can think of it of like introducing an invasive species into a different environment," says Todd Kuiken, a senior research scholar at North Carolina State University's Genetic Engineering and Society Center. "It will have some type of impact to .
A big step towards an artificial yeast genomeThe Economist
Jef D. Boeke | NYU School of MedicineNYU School of Medicine
Genetic Information in Eucaryotes - Molecular Biology of the Cell - NCBI Bookshelf - NIHNCBI - NIH
NPR -Church Lab - Harvard University
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DNA Copy Roulette Accounts for Most Cancer Mutations - Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (blog)

CNN

DNA Copy Roulette Accounts for Most Cancer Mutations
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (blog)
They're ba-ack. The scientists who caused a stir 2 years agoEUR”by reporting that DNA copying errors could explain most of the differences in cancer risk among different tissuesEUR”have expanded their findings. They now address a more general question .
Stem cell divisions, somatic mutations, cancer etiology, and cancer prevention | ScienceScience
Bert Vogelstein - Johns Hopkins MedicineJohns Hopkins Medicine
Cristian Tomasetti, Ph.D. - Johns Hopkins MedicineJohns Hopkins Medicine
Science -Science
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Spinach Wears a Heart on Its Leaves | GEN - Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

Spinach Wears a Heart on Its Leaves | GEN
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News
WPI research team shows spinach leaves stripped of plant cells can become a vascular network to deliver blood, oxygen, and nutrients to grow human tissues .

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UC Davis alumni revolutionize genetic engineering - The Aggie

The Aggie

UC Davis alumni revolutionize genetic engineering
The Aggie
EURśWe had put together a lab space and equipment where people can come and explore the various types of technology that are associated with engineering biology,EURť Facciotti said. EURśConnected to that is an award from a foundation called VentureWell, and .

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