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:

 

NOSB votes on standards for next-generation GMO's - Food Engineering Magazine (registration)

Food Engineering Magazine (registration)

NOSB votes on standards for next-generation GMO's
Food Engineering Magazine (registration)
EURIt's critical that organic standards treat new types of genetic engineering that are rapidly entering our food and consumer products as rigorously as the first generation of GMOs.EUR The consumer groups believe that, like traditional GMOs, synthetic .

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With bright tricks, light leaves brain forever changed - Spectrum

Spectrum

With bright tricks, light leaves brain forever changed
Spectrum
The mice also carry a genetic modification that makes their neurons glow green when they fire. This revealed that certain neurons activate quickly at the onset of a seizure and keep seizures going. Inhibiting another type of neuron cuts seizures short.

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Human Gene Editing Receives Science Panel's Support - New York Times

New York Times

Human Gene Editing Receives Science Panel's Support
New York Times
An influential science advisory group formed by the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine on Tuesday lent its support to a once-unthinkable proposition: the modification of human embryos to create genetic traits that can be .
BOSS Magazine | Why These Two Genome Editing Headlines .BOSS Magazine
Human Genome Editing: Science, Ethics, and Governance | The National Academies PressThe National Academies Press
George Church - Church Lab - Harvard UniversityChurch Lab - Harvard University
NPR -National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute - National Institutes of Health
all 191 news articles »
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UAE Human Genome Project director hopes DNA profiling will be at centre of clinical care - The National

UAE Human Genome Project director hopes DNA profiling will be at centre of clinical care
The National
DUBAI // Genetic engineering is at the heart of the Ministry of Health and Prevention plans to combat the spread of non-communicable diseases in the country. The latest innovations in DNA profiling, gene sequencing and other scientific breakthroughs in .

and more »
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