Genetics Essay, Research Paper
The world has evolved and changed so much that so many things we thought were impossible are now possible, or becoming possible. Certain advances in the field of genetics have sparked controversy. Genetics offers a wide range of opportunities for people. It offers such ideas as allowing parents to choose what kind of sex there child would be, and parents also have the option of enhancing there child’s memory and IQ. Cloning is also a big issue. There are people that are all for the experiments and possible outcomes. They believe that these new discoveries are able to improve the lives of people and society. However, there are those who greatly oppose genetic advances, believing that it interferes with the course of nature and can cause problems within society and the people who are genetically advanced. And there are people like me, who fall in the middle. I believe that some of the new discoveries are good, and we believe that some are bad. I agree that advances, which can help people with physical or mental disorders, can be of some use to those who need it; However, I don’t agree with advances that can cause competition within society, or are of no real help to others.
The Genetics and IVF institute “developed a technique to greatly increase the probability of having a girl by separating the Y chromosome (male) bearing sperm from the X chromosome (female) bearing sperm before fertilization” . By doing this, parents can choose to separate one of the chromosomes and pick what sex they want their child to be. The success rate of producing a female was 90%, and the success rate of having a male was 73%. Some believe that being able to pick and choose what sex your child will be is a reproductive right. “It would serve to reduce overpopulation and unwanted children”. And in countries that control their population, this technique would greatly reduce abortions and abandonment. “Innovation in the field of reproductive technology brings relief and happiness to parents”. I do not agree. I do not see how sex selection is a good thing. There is no evidence that this advancement can benefit anyone. “Opponents of sex selection are concerned that allowing couples to determine the sex of their children will perpetuate gender stereotyping and discrimination, upset the world of ratio of men to women…” As I see it, parents are spoiling themselves if they choose this procedure. They cannot be happy with what they could create, but rather have technology interfere with an act that should be personal to the parents. Also, this kind of “technology is liable to produce results that may have unfortunate consequences for society and for our species”. As with any type of manipulation, such as surgery or with genes, no matter how sure the doctors are about the procedure, there are bound to be complications. And I do not believe that children should pay the price if something fatal was to occur. I would only agree with this if a father needed to carry out his name, but did not have a son to do so with, and did not have any brothers that could do so if he could not. But this is a rare case, and not very likely. Children are people, not possessions that can be trades if they were not wanted.
Scientists at Princeton, MIT, and Washington University found a way to genetically alter a mouse. The mouse was engineered so that it learned “more quickly, remembers what it learns for a longer period of time and adapts to changes in its environment more flexibly than a normal mouse” . People who are for this innovation say that since “[scientists’] results suggest that the genetic enhancement of mental and cognitive attributes such as intelligence and memory in mammals is feasible”, then parents can choose to make their child smarter. Memory is an important thing. Parents are going to want their child to get ahead. But where would the competition end? Most likely, parents are going to want their child to be smarter than others. Pretty soon parents will be having their child genetically enhanced every week. Many who oppose genetically enhancing their child say, “Their conclusions are unwarranted and farfetched”. Even though their findings suggest that mammals may be able to be enhanced in this way, it’s just risky to meddle with such a sensitive area. As for me, I disagree with enhancing someone’s memory if there is nothing wrong with the person. It is useless and selfish. However, I do agree that mental capacity should be altered if there is a mental disorder. “This sort of research may eventually lead to practical medical results for human, such as therapies to treat learning and memory disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease…” I think that children with a disease that can affect their memory or thinking ability should have an equal chance at success. But I also think that the enhancement should only be allowed to bring that child to the level most are at. I do not agree with making someone smarter than others. Those against my decision would probably say that it is against nature’s natural course. I do not agree with this totally. In a lot of cases, the reason for the children’s mental disorder is the mother’s fault. Drinking, smoking, and drugs could have all played a role in the child’s illness. That child, as well as any other child should have a right to a normal life. I also think that if these changes were only done to those who needed it, there would less competition against people. “The idea that intelligence is rooted in the genes has long been an inflammatory notion”. There is still a lot to discover before anything can be done.
Today’s technology has advanced to heights that many did not think could have been reached. Although there are certain ideas that I am against, there are some aspects that I do believe could actually give a lot of help to others. No matter who opposes or agrees with the new advancements of genetics, there is still a lot to discover. As long as the treatment is available to help others, and not hurt or interfere too much with the processes of life, I agree that those treatments should be looked into in more depth. But until there are more answers for everyone, I think that society should hold off on too much gene therapy.