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:

 

More than just X and Y: A new genetic basis for sex determination
Men and women differ in plenty of obvious ways, and scientists have long known that genetic differences buried deep within our DNA underlie these distinctions. In the past, most research has focused on understanding how the genes that encode proteins act as sex determinants. But Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) scientists have found that a subset of very small genes encoding short RNA ...


We Justify Human Suffering Because We've Never Had a Choice in the Matter - Singularity Hub

We Justify Human Suffering Because We've Never Had a Choice in the Matter
Singularity Hub
Philosopher David Pearce says not only will we be able to do this using nanotechnology and genetic engineering, but it's our moral responsibility to make sure it happens. . As far as we know, humans are the only species conscious of their own mortality.

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Margaret Atwood on MaddAddam, the HBO Adaptation, and Genetic Engineering
With last years publication of MaddAddam, Margaret Atwood capped off a trilogy of speculative-fiction novels that is currently being adapted for HBO by Darren Aronosfsky. The paperback just came out and a new collection of her short stories arrives in September, giving Vulture no choice but to call up the Canadian . More »..


More Crop for the Drop - Project Syndicate

More Crop for the Drop
Project Syndicate
Sometimes called EURśgenetic modification,EURť GE enables plant breeders to make existing crop plants do new things EUR such as conserve water. Even with research and development hampered by resistance from activists and excessive government regulation, .

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Forestry geneticists develop tree biomass crop to grow on marginal lands
Two Virginia Tech researchers have received a $1.4 million grant to investigate the genetic regulatory networks that will allow an important bioenergy crop to be bred so it will grow in less than ideal soils and climate...


Clemson studying how butterflies feed may help cure genetic diseases - Greenville News

Laboratory Equipment

Clemson studying how butterflies feed may help cure genetic diseases
Greenville News
"The most interesting work happens at the intersection of disciplines," said Tanju Karanfil, associate dean of research and graduate studies in the College of Engineering and Science. "In this case, biologists and engineers have come together with .
Clemson research looks to butterflies for human genetic research advancesThe State

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Sequencing at sea: Real-time DNA sequencing in a remote field location
Daylight was breaking over the central Pacific and coffee brewing aboard the MY Hanse Explorer. Between sips, about a dozen scientists strategized for the day ahead. Some would don wetsuits and slip below the surface to collect water samples around the southern Line Islands' numerous coral reefs. Others would tinker with the whirring gizmos and delicate machinery strewn throughout the 158-foot ...


Margaret Atwood on MaddAddam, the HBO Adaptation, and Genetic Engineering - Vulture

Margaret Atwood on MaddAddam, the HBO Adaptation, and Genetic Engineering
Vulture
One of the many questions we had for her was: How will the nude, innocent, hybrid human race known as the Crakers EUR” who have certain body parts genetically engineered to turn blue and who engage in group sex when they are in heat EUR” translate to .

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