Which Genetic Engineering Cons Pose A Serious Threat?

Genetic engineering cons are being put forward vehemently by those who believe this technology is far too young and too little understood to be applied in real life, and by those who believe that it is something in which the human race should not be dabbling anyway. It is not disputed that there are benefits to be derived from the use of genetic engineering but can they be derived safely and without excessive risk and damage to both the ecology of the planet and to human users of genetically modified products? There is evidence to suggest that the risks involved are too great to take.

The most commonly accepted use for genetic engineering technology is in the improvement of crop yields, by creating a new strain of crops which are resistant to chemicals and which can be more thoroughly treated. The obvious argument here is that in other areas, such as bed bugs in hotel rooms, the pests have themselves grown stronger strains to counter the pesticides which are used. It may be that genetic modification would only be a short term solution, and that the problem would return to be even harder to remove. It is also not predictable whether spores from these crops could spread further afield and affect other crops in the vicinity.

Another benefit which is often touted is that crops become more durable, and that they are resistant to changes in the climate. In regions of the world where the weather and temperatures are not predictable, many crops can be lost because of an unexpected cold or dry spell. This can be fought against by growing crops which are more resistant, but this altering of the basic structure of the crop means that the human consumer is still taking something unnatural into their body, and the effects of this are completely unknown.

types of genetic engineering

The genetic engineering cons are even more widely publicized in the case of animal based experiments. The least controversial of these are the ones where animals are genetically modified to improve food yields, although even these are horrifying to many. The experiments which involve using animals to test drugs which are intended for humans are abhorrent in the eyes of many observers, as they take away all rights from the animal to live as nature intended. Experiments which involve growing animals for organs which can be transplanted into human evoke even stronger reactions, and the effect of these on the human body cannot be quantified.

The actual genetic engineering of humans themselves is the most controversial aspect of all, and here there is potential for an enormous amount of damage to be done. The use of genetics to prevent illness may be a good idea in theory, but in experiments people have suffered side effects as severe as leukemia. These should become ever less as the technology evolves, but nevertheless the risk is always there. Other human genetic engineering experiments include overcoming infertility, and choosing the characteristics of a child.

genetic engineering

The genetic engineering cons involved with using a second mother to overcome infertility are potentially extreme, as the child is left with a genetic blueprint derived from three people instead of two. This will be passed down the generations for evermore, until there is no telling where it might lead. Choosing the characteristics of children through artificial genetic engineering could lead to rich people being able to afford this luxury while the poor cannot, prompting a total breakdown in the social order of society. It is impossible to predict at this early stage exactly how grave the consequences could be of these genetic engineering cons.

 

 

 

Genetic Engineering News:

 

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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Gene therapy offers long-term treatment for mice with diabetes - LA . - Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

Gene therapy offers long-term treatment for mice with diabetes - LA .
Los Angeles Times
The newly resurgent field of gene therapy, which recently produced treatments for blood cancers and blindness, has taken a step toward fighting a scourge that is on the rise worldwide: diabetes. In research reported Thursday in the journal Cell Stem .

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Alcohol and cancer: This is how booze damages DNA inside cells - Cancer Research UK (blog)

Cancer Research UK (blog)

Alcohol and cancer: This is how booze damages DNA inside cells
Cancer Research UK (blog)
To do this, they used lab-based genetic engineering to create mice whose blood stem cells didn't produce the enzyme ALDH2, meaning they couldn't break down acetaldehyde. They then gave these mice diluted ethanol, the purest form of alcohol, and used .
Alcohol and endogenous aldehydes damage chromosomes and mutate stem cells | NatureNature
New research shows how alcohol damages DNA and increases cancer riskCancer Research UK
Alcohol Use and Cancer - American Cancer SocietyAmerican Cancer Society
NCBI - NIH
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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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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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Gene therapy offers long-term treatment for mice with diabetes - La Crosse Tribune

La Crosse Tribune

Gene therapy offers long-term treatment for mice with diabetes
La Crosse Tribune
Until recently, using a virus to ferry genetic fixes to their targets has caused illness and death in patients. But advances in genetic engineering have made it possible to disarm viruses of their ability to sicken people without compromising their .

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