Use Of Genetic Engineering Essay, Research Paper
Some may say that genetic engineering must be regulated. Others remark that genetic engineering must be halted. Still others say that God will punish those who entertain the idea of altering God s creation. Despite all of the negativity and disagreement on this rapidly advancing technology, genetic engineering should persevere. Through the infantile technology of genetic engineering, disease will cease and desist, people will live longer and healthier lives, and experience a dramatic increase for the better in quality of life. Suppressing this nascent technology will most definitely create an underground for scientific testing and implementation. History has proven that withholding knowledge from the people will only cause curiosity and fascism. To add to the overwhelming support for the existence of genetic engineering, in these United States people have the right to privacy and the right to do as they wish with their own bodies as afforded to them in the fourth amendment. It is for these reasons that preserving and cultivating genetic engineering is imperative to the wellbeing of everyone.
In 1970, scientists first learned that genes could be moved. By the middle of the 1980s genetically altered mice, pigs, and cows were patented. Genetic engineering was first implemented in humans in 1991 when a girl with what is commonly referred to as bubble boy syndrome had a gene in her body altered which initiated the creation of T cells to combat disease. By far the most well known experiment of genetic engineering came in 1996 when a sheep named Dolly was born. Time passed as testing was performed to make sure the newborn sheep was not one of a kind, and it was soon known that the experiment had produced a clone of a six year-old sheep. With these experiments came a new frontier which is only now being realized and the vast majority of information is still unknown. Just around one hundred genes have actually been related to specific deadly diseases. But don t mistake this relatively low output of research and development for laziness. Instead picture it as a precursor for far greater developments.
Imagine a world where a person with any type of ailment can stop by his geneticist and eliminate the disease at the root of the problem, in the DNA. At present this kind of technology is unavailable, but this is the potential which the technology presents. Already genetic engineering has effectively been able to grow skin for a woman whose gas heater had blown up in her presence. While burns as severe as hers usually take 130 days of hospitalization to nurture, doctors first grafted a portion of unburned skin, cloned it, and applied the new skin to her body. This allowed the woman to leave the hospital after just 46 days. The technology is so impressive that it can grow four acres of skin from a piece of skin of about two inches by two inches. Right now if yellow fever was to break out, the vaccines stored in all the world would be exhausted in just a few days. Right now AIDS is just beginning to explode, and the two million people already dead occurred while the disease was a baby. Right now the Ebola Virus is breaking out again in Africa. What will happen when these diseases are unleashed and the world is subject to their wrath? Wouldn t these diseases be much more easily prevented if the chance of a baby being infected with such a disease were eliminated before birth? With gene therapy, people will be able to eliminate any risk of fatal and near fatal diseases while their babies are still just one-celled organisms. Furthermore, scientists have already created fruit flies which have a doubled life span, increased roundworm lifespans by seventy percent, and raised rodents which live to the equivalent of 160 human years. Genetic engineering is a means for extending life, not just prolonging it. Scientists seek to eliminate the diseases which cause aging. Their goal is not just to create sixty-five more years of living in a nursing home. One man s, Michael Rose, ultimate goal is to create a modern day Methuselah, a person who will be able to live to 969 years young. This may sound ridiculous but already scientists have identified organisms which do not age, including bristlecone pine trees, sea anemones, rockfish, and some shellfish. The goal of genetic engineers now is to identify the genes which prevent aging in these organisms and translate them into human DNA. In light of all of the positive outcomes for the betterment of human life, there is no reason why genetic engineering should not be embraced.
To add to the arguments for genetic engineering, whenever there is a suppression of knowledge, there is also a rebellion. The slaves of colonial America were not allowed the privilege of reading or writing. Slowly this knowledge began to leak into the slave colonies. When the knowledge reached the slaves, because if people want to know they will go to endless lengths to obtain it, they began to rebel. One of the most well known examples is Fredrick Douglass. When Douglass had been taught to read by his master s wife against his masters will he began to think and reason. He joined with the abolitionist movement in his ideology. He realized the hope he had for being free. He was then sent farther South where a renowned slave breaker would attempt to break Douglass. Douglass refused to snap, knowing what he did. This slow education of the slaves eventually led to the Civil War. The attempts to suppress the slaves knowledge had only spurred it onward. The same scenario took place in Germany when Hitler and his political party overtook the power of the media. With nothing else to learn, Hitler hoped to brainwash the people into succumbing to his cause. Consequently, many Germans immigrated to America and eventually Hitler committed suicide on the brink of capture. In medieval England, the Roman Catholic Church held supreme power. Most of England remained illiterate. The church was free to dictate law and influence the people of wealth into seeing the beliefs of the church. Slowly people became poorer and poorer. More and more people were upset at the way the Roman Catholic Church conducted itself and this suppression of knowledge and the abuse of England s people spurred the protestant religions and the desire to migrate to the western hemisphere. The same scenarios would take place with the attempted omitting of genetic engineering. People would still yearn to know the hows and whys of genetic engineering and simple laws on paper would not stop that.
Along with the suppression of knowledge is the suppression of rights of the people afforded to them in the United States constitution. Defined in the fourth amendment is the right for all people to be secure in their persons . This allows people to alter their bodies and DNA in any way they see fit. They have the right to choose the genes of their baby if they so please, because doing so would require the baby to be only one cell big, a zygote. In the case of Roe v. Wade of 1973, the High Court ruled that having an abortion within the first trimester is constitutional under the fourth amendment. It is logical that if a woman can kill her baby in the first trimester that she should also be allowed to alter the babies genes at the time of the zygote, the time when the egg is first fertilized, the time that first marks the beginning of the first trimester. Furthermore, is it really fair to eliminate this genetic alteration as a right of the people? Suppose two mentally handicapped people wish to have a child. Is it fair that they should have to have a baby who is also mentally handicapped? Or should the two be allowed the choice of eliminating the gene which causes mental retardation, allowing the child the hope of a future? Should a man missing an arm be allowed a genetic alteration which grows a new arm for him? Should a war veteran missing both legs as a result of war be given the opportunity to have a gene altering surgery which allows the man to grow a new natural pair of legs? The choice is clear. Genetic engineering is inevitable.
The arguments against genetic engineering are filled with circumstantial arguments, hypothetical situations, and uncertainties. The proponents for the progress of genetic engineering are far more defined and evident and banning such a technology would be only a minor set back in its progress. And if genetic engineering is banned, ban all of science as well. Because the sole benefactor of science is man. To improve the quality of life of man is an admirable goal, and banning it would be an irreconcilable error.
The potential benefits of genetic engineering outweigh any possible risk occurring from the science. The technology has the potential to eliminate disease, improving every person s quality of life. Suppressing the knowledge of genetic engineering would only degrade the quality of life in America, restricting the cures for many major diseases and viruses from ever being discovered. And how can anything involving the body of an individual be banned, violating the fourth amendment? Genetic engineering has the potential to improve the world over, and it is up to man to develop the technology in a responsible manner, and in a manner void of trivial restrictions governing the development of such an inevitably good tool.