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Genetic Engineering Essay

2349 words - 10 pages

The Science and Ethics of Genetic Engineering Research & Position Paper

Table of Contents

DNA Fingerprinting/ Genetically Modified Foods --------------------------------------------------- p. 3
Gene Therapy/Cloning------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ p. 4
Stem Cell Technology------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ p. 5
Position Paper------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- p. 6-7
Bibliography-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- p. 8-10
Evaluation ...view middle of the document...

It can be done in laboratories, where they genetically alter the DNA of plants and animals, or can be done through the selective breeding of plants and animals. The purpose of this technology is to create crops that can withstand certain climate conditions and being exposed to harmful pesticides and to create animals with desirable characteristic, such as lower cholesterol or less fat. Pros of the technology are increased food production for struggling countries, the ability of certain plants to withstand drought, and creating healthier foods. Cons are potential contamination of foods, the addition of toxins in foods, and altering the nutrients that are naturally found in crops.

Gene Therapy
Gene therapy is the process in which genes are used to help treat or keep diseases from occurring. Gene therapy is done through an IV or injection, which contain a vector. The vector carriers the genes to the cell. The vector, like a virus, infects the cell, allowing the genes to do their part and replace faulty genes. The purpose of gene therapy is to replace faulty genes with good ones or to produce good proteins within a cell. The pros to this technology are that it can help get rid of diseases before they become a threat, cure existing diseases, and prevent the future generations from having to deal with the diseases of today. The cons to this technology are that science may eventually have the power to manipulate genes too much to a point where it can alter humans, the vector may turn into the disease it’s trying to prevent/cure, and the usage of the vectors could cause inflammation of other parts of the body.

Cloning
Cloning is when DNA is copied from a cell and put inside a different cell or when a cell is divided, artificially, to create two identical cells. In a natural case, a cell divides in the mother’s womb and results in twins. In an artificial case, a scientist will divide a cell into two and then put them inside a mother’s womb to grow as twins. Another method of artificial cloning is when the DNA from a cell is removed and replaced with the cloned DNA of another cell, so that there are two cells with the exact same DNA, one of which is a clone of the other. The purpose of artificial cloning is to create more of a cell to do research on and to increase the population of a species, such as endangered animals. The pros to this technology are that organs can be cloned to replace bad ones, endangered species can be revived, and stem cells can be cloned to conduct research on cures for diseases. The cons are that genes will become less diverse and the power to clone will become abused. A controversial issue is that the cloning of cells to create babies is not a safe practice and can cause deformities to the child. This is a controversy because people argue over whether this technology is ethical or not.
Stem Cell Technology
Stem cells are cells that have to capability to become other types of cells. In stem cell technology, theses...

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