When The Ethics Of Genetic Engineering Push The Limit

Ethics of genetic engineering are among the most hotly debated subjects in scientific circles throughout the world, and also among the lay people who are going to have to live with the consequences of any choices which are made by those in authority. There are many on either side who argue vehemently for one extreme or the other, believing that genetic engineering is either inherently evil or that it is a godsend which can solve many of the problems which are prevalent in the modern world. Most people are somewhere in the middle of these extremes, interested by the possibilities but worried by the potential consequences.

There are even doubts cast over the wisdom of using genetic engineering at its most basic level, to alter the genetic pattern of food crops so that they can become more hard wearing against disease. This is a technology which is already in place throughout the world, and which is becoming more common with each passing year. There are ethical considerations not only with the techniques themselves, but also with the labeling which is needed to let people know what they are eating. In the United States and many other countries, there is no mandatory labeling of genetically modified food, and that would be difficult to achieve accurately in any case.

The issue of genetic engineering ethics becomes even more uncertain as you move up the food chain. There are many possibilities for using the technology in animals, to produce larger herds which give more meat for the same expense in feed and grazing area, to increase milk yields of cows or goats, or to produce more wool from sheep. There is no doubt all of these objectives can be achieved, but they will interfere with the inherent right of the animals, and the consequences to humans who ingest the products remains unknown.

types of genetic engineering

There are other potential uses of animals which raise the questioning of the ethics of genetic engineering to a completely different level. The first of these is to deliberately grow the animals with more human type genes so that they can be used for the testing or drugs, in the hope that the numbers of experiments which are needed on human volunteers can be drastically reduced. The ethics of deliberately injecting drugs into healthy animals is hotly enough debated, but when those animals are specifically grown with unnatural features specifically for the purpose there have to be serious questions asked.

The issue of genetic engineering ethics is stretched to the limit when it is human interests which are effected. The animals which are grown in more human form can also be grown so that their organs can be transplanted into humans, and this will raise the same doubts as the use of the animals for drug testing. Human genes themselves can be altered, as in the case of people suffering from immune system deficiencies who can be cured by a gene replacement. In this case, the ethics are less debatable as it is only the genes of the patient which are altered.

genetic engineering

The ethics of genetic engineering can be questioned most in the case of barren women who want to use the technology to enable them to have children. For this to happen, there needs to be eggs from a third party mother, and this leaves any resulting child with a permanently altered genetic pattern. Not only that, but this altered pattern with three genetic blueprints is then passed down through the generations for ever. The entire human race could be affected by this issue of the ethics of genetic engineering.

 

 

 

Genetic Engineering News:

 

Biotech Crashes the Pest Party - AgWeb

AgWeb

Biotech Crashes the Pest Party
AgWeb
In 2015, Shelton and his colleagues completed GE DBM greenhouse trials proving the technology was effectiveEUR”the pest DBM population crashed after several releases of GE DBM. The trial also restored susceptibility to Bt. In fall 2017, he completed open .

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Scientists engineer sound-reflecting bacteria - Cosmos

Cosmos

Scientists engineer sound-reflecting bacteria
Cosmos
Scientists at the California Institute of Technology in the US have genetically engineered bacteria capable of sending sonar signals from deep within the human body. The modified Escherichia coli contain genes from two other species of bacteria .

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Scientists Grow 3D Hairy Mouse Skin without Using Embryonic Tissue - Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

Scientists Grow 3D Hairy Mouse Skin without Using Embryonic Tissue
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News
The hairy skin more closely resembles natural mouse skin than existing lab-grown tissue that is constructed by piecing together different cell types. The Indiana University School of Medicine researchers suggest that if hair-growing human skin can be .

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Pakistani database to help deal with genetic disorders - SciDev.Net

SciDev.Net

Pakistani database to help deal with genetic disorders
SciDev.Net
[ISLAMABAD] Pakistan, a country with a high rate of marriages among close relatives, has taken a step towards dealing with inherited disorders by establishing a genetic mutation database, or mutome, that the developers say will help provide genetic .

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Virus stampingEUR”a versatile new method for genetic engineering of single cells - Phys.Org

Phys.Org

Virus stampingEUR”a versatile new method for genetic engineering of single cells
Phys.Org
For decades now, scientists have used viruses as vehicles for introducing new genes into cells. Different types of viruses such as lentivirus, herpes simplex and adeno-associated viruses can be used to genetically engineer individual cells or cellular .

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Long-lasting flu vaccine could replace yearly shots - Science News for Students

Science News for Students

Long-lasting flu vaccine could replace yearly shots
Science News for Students
(in genetics) A quality or characteristic that can be inherited. vaccine (v. vaccinate) A biological mixture that resembles a disease-causing agent. It is given to help the body create immunity to a particular disease. The injections used to administer .

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