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:

 

RNA discoveries could improve stem cell research - Phys.Org

Phys.Org

RNA discoveries could improve stem cell research
Phys.Org
In the current study, Galat and the other co-authors of the study discovered that the cheRNA sequences are also specifically associated with different types of cells' eventual genetic expression. "Because they are so well associated with . More .

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New types of therapy mean cancer is going to become ever more survivable - The Economist

New types of therapy mean cancer is going to become ever more survivable
The Economist
New research tools, such as easily generated antibodies, rapid gene sequencing and ever easier genetic engineering, have revolutionised biologists' understanding of cancer. This understanding has allowed more specific approaches to the disease to be .

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Around the web: Concerns with human genetic engineering, Gary Cohn on tax reform, and more - American Enterprise Institute

Around the web: Concerns with human genetic engineering, Gary Cohn on tax reform, and more
American Enterprise Institute
Since then, she's been meeting with stakeholdersEUR•unions and business types and the likeEUR•about how San Francisco, and California, might explore such a thing. Among the issues with a robot tax: What is a robot? Even roboticists have a hard time agreeing.

and more »
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Genetically Engineered Corals Could Help Save the Coral Reefs - Interesting Engineering

Interesting Engineering

Genetically Engineered Corals Could Help Save the Coral Reefs
Interesting Engineering
One of the reasons it's so resilient to changes that kill other corals is because it has more genetic variation than most other types of algae. . The usual, well-established genetic engineering methods wouldn't work on this particular species .

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The Drive for Perfect Children Gets a Little Scary - Bloomberg - Bloomberg

Bloomberg

The Drive for Perfect Children Gets a Little Scary - Bloomberg
Bloomberg
There's a lot of innovation going on in China these days, but perhaps not all of it is good. Chinese fertility centers are going well beyond American practices, .

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10 mega myths about farming to remember on your next grocery run - Chicago Daily Herald

Chicago Daily Herald

10 mega myths about farming to remember on your next grocery run
Chicago Daily Herald
Most of us don't spend our days plowing fields or wrangling cattle. We're part of the 99 percent of Americans who eat food, but don't produce it. Although we can be concerned about how our food is produced, our assumptions when we are grocery shopping .

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Leather grown using biotechnology is about to hit the catwalk - The Economist

The Economist

Leather grown using biotechnology is about to hit the catwalk
The Economist
To produce its leather, Modern Meadow begins with a strain of yeast that has been genetically engineered to make a protein identical to bovine collagen. Collagen is the principal structural protein in animal bodies. In particular, it gives strength and .

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FDA Approves First Gene-Altering Leukemia Treatment, Costing $475000 - New York Times

New York Times

FDA Approves First Gene-Altering Leukemia Treatment, Costing $475000
New York Times
The therapy, marketed as Kymriah and made by Novartis, was approved for children and young adults for an aggressive type of leukemia EUR” B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia EUR” that has resisted standard treatment or relapsed. . To customize Kymriah .
FDA approval brings first gene therapy to the United StatesFDA.gov
Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Treatment (PDQ)EUR”Patient Version - National Cancer InstituteNational Cancer Institute

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