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Cracking the Code of Life

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Did you know that fifty percent of the genes in bananas are in us? Things like this are being discovered by geneticist all around the world. They are also trying to discover what genes cause what, the genes that cause certain disease, etc. It might be interesting and useful to a lot of people, but others are questioning the research. The video “Cracking the Code of Life” shares the newly found information on genes, DNA, etc; along with people’s insight on the research.

The video is all about genes and DNA, but mostly the Human Genome Project. The goal of the Human Genome Project is to “crack the code” of the differences in DNA that result in our health and illnesses, and they have been doing so since 1990. It has cost hundreds of millions of dollars for the government and geneticists around the world. What they are trying to do is sort through the genes in the ladders of DNA sequences to discover what genes cause what and by finding the answer, geneticists will be able to determine who has what disease before it does any damage and they will also be able to discover new cures for these diseases. Yet from this goal, so many questions have arisen: Should the government be spending so much money on this? Should we find out what disease(s) a baby will have before it is born? Should a genetic code be patented? Is it really best to know if we carry the gene for a disease(s)? Is the information from the Human Genome Project getting too close to genetic engineering?

There is another company, Celera, researching identical questions as the government. This brings about the questioning of the government spending a great deal of money on the Human Genome Project. Even though Celera gets many of its information from the government research, they would have eventually received it themselves. Meaning it is not absolutely necessary for the government to be spending the money when someone else is already completing the work.

I personally do not think the government should be using the money for the Human Genome Project when Celera is still operating. The money could go toward other matters, maybe even more important ones. Some matters might include helping the homeless and starving, or towards helping the environment; things that can help sooner rather than later. That money could save or help thousands of lives sooner than a few with a rare disease that has to wait for the research to be done to discover a cure.

All in all, even though the research could help save a few, the money could save at least a thousand. That is why I do not agree with the government spending the money.



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