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:

 

New molecular scissors act like a GPS to improve genome editing . - Science Daily

New molecular scissors act like a GPS to improve genome editing .
Science Daily
Researchers have discovered how Cpf1, a new molecular scissors unzip and cleave DNA. This member of the CRISPR-Cas family displays a high accuracy, .

and more »
..


Broad Institute Joins CRISPR Patent Pool Talks | GEN - Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (blog)

Broad Institute Joins CRISPR Patent Pool Talks | GEN
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (blog)
The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard said today they have joined discussions to create a nonexclusive CRISPR/Cas9 joint licensing pool being coordinated by .

and more »
..


CRISPR: Close but No Cigar | Raddington Report - Raddington Report (blog)

Raddington Report (blog)

CRISPR: Close but No Cigar | Raddington Report
Raddington Report (blog)
Genomic engineering promises to make crops grow in fierce droughts and cure the incurable. The latest in a long line of technologies, CRISPR, comes closest to .

and more »
..

FDA Panel Recommends Approval for Gene-Altering Leukemia Treatment - New York Times

New York Times

FDA Panel Recommends Approval for Gene-Altering Leukemia Treatment
New York Times
The treatment requires removing millions of a patient's T-cells EUR” a type of white blood cell often called soldiers of the immune system EUR” and genetically engineering them to kill cancer cells. The technique employs a disabled form of H.I.V., the .
Panel in US recommends approval for gene-altering leukaemia treatmentThe Straits Times
Gene therapy to kill cancer moves a step closer to marketCNET

all 87 news articles »
..


 

share