Genetic Engineering MAG

By Diana Peek, Rockwall, TX

Bam! A 16-year-old takes off running at his high school track meet. He is not a quarter of the way around the track when the first of his five opponents reaches the finish line.

Now, in the 21st century, many people say the world is on the verge of a scientific revolution that brings one of the most ­controversial ideas of all time: genetic ­engineering of humans. I believe this is morally wrong, dangerous, and will lead to problems in our society.

The ethical dilemmas of human genetic engineering are what make this issue so controversial. Humans are trying to play too large a role in the universe. Many people believe that genetic engineering of humans is ­interfering with natural processes like the random selection of genes for looks and talent passed from parents to offspring. Human genetic engineering could let individuals “play God” and choose and manipulate their genes and those of their children. I believe that giving people this power goes against the basic forces of ­nature. All that is really needed is for us to accept ourselves the way we are.

The idea of a divided society in the near future is a troubling and likely consequence of human genetic engineering. Societies have always been divided by varying degrees of inequity and bias. Now, with the emergence of the genetic revolution, society entertains the prospect of a new and more serious form of segregation. One based on genotype.

The destructiveness of prejudice and discrimination is unmistakable. Imagine a world where the rich not only hold all the power, but they become superhuman. They could do things far beyond even the best abilities of normal people. Genetic engineering will bring about a rift between the upper-class citizens who are fortunate enough to afford such technology, and the lower classes who must rely only on their natural abilities. Human genetic enhancement would guarantee that families who can afford it would be able to perpetuate their social and political dominance.

Technology, or lack of enough advanced technology, is another topic of controversy for the genetic engineering of humans. It is interesting to think about the impact technology is having on the world, but is mankind ready for this kind of change?

Genetic engineering has the potential to treat and possibly cure a variety of cancers and chronic diseases, but in reality, this technology is not as promising and reliable as it may seem. Seven years after the first gene-therapy trial on humans, a complete cure for even one patient has not been produced. The technology seems to have an impressive array of benefits, but the science is still in its infancy.

It is simply part of the nature of mankind to want to be better, stronger, healthier, happier, and capable of achieving more. On the other hand, some things are better left unaltered. Change is not ­always good.



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This article has 126 comments.


Weijie said...
on Sep. 12 2016 at 5:26 pm
For the most part, I completely agree with you. With genetic engineering, bionic implantation, and gene therapy being the priority research topics of many military and medical scientists, there is bound to be a day when it is readily available to the civilian population. This will also undoubtedly lead to discrimination, religious, "quarrels" and, in the worst case scenario, wars. Many movies, books, and video games have already touched on the subject and the severe consequences of it. But is it really possible to stop the impending future? Mankind, as a species has already proven time and time again that they are willing to give up essentially whatever to gain power and the means to improve themselves. The benefits of certain types of genetic engineering landslide over any of the drawbacks that it may have. A good example of this would be immediate response teams. If someone has a heart attack in the middle of the street, ambulances would have the capability to perform a heart transplant on scene. Cancers and plagues can be ended with patients simply going to their neighborhood clinics. Military capabilities... well, this becomes bumpy. Soldiers, if their is a need for them to deploy at all, would be able to make complete recoveries form injuries that would normally be fatal. They could however also have the ability to carry nuclear, biological, or chemical armaments to the field with incredible ease. Your average grunt(google if you don't know what that means) could suddenly become a walking tank. The advancement of technology is impossible to stop, yet at the same time, world peace can never be achieved. Every achievement and discovery will instill supporters and also rejecters. It is somethings that humanity will one day have to choose to accept, or be destroyed by.

on Oct. 7 2015 at 11:44 am
sydneyjohnson BRONZE, Flower Mound, Texas
1 article 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
“Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?” ~Ernest Gaines

Your story was so intriguing and inspiring. You did an amazing job of description, I could see the imagery so clearly and I felt like I was really there with you in the experience. You have a big future ahead of you in writing!

Rachel said...
on May. 28 2015 at 10:17 am
I wrote a very extensive research paper on this topic a couple of years ago, and the conclusion that I reached while researching the paper was that there is a very big difference between using genetic engineering as therapy for individuals who have a disorder and using this technology to enhance humans who are "normal." Basically, I would support research in this field in order to give people with genetic disorders a better hope for a cure, but I would not support the use of this technology to increase the capabilities of a person whose body is functioning as it is supposed to. TLDR: Use science to help sick people, not to make superhumans.

Tacocat said...
on Aug. 26 2014 at 7:34 pm
This will end up like spider man or planet of the apes

geoman said...
on Feb. 19 2014 at 9:51 am
thank you this realy help me understanding what genetic engineering is all about 

izzy857 said...
on Apr. 18 2013 at 4:16 pm
Try taking the genes of a reptile that regenerates to a lab rat with a cut arm or leg  

Ostedrengen said...
on Jan. 30 2013 at 3:53 am
  I believe that if you can enhance the humanity to a better and secure future, it is necessary to welcome this form of technology. If you can change people that they no longer is in danger for themselves and to others, it would make our society much more safe. If the possibility is that some offspring now have the possibility to achieve greatness that wasn’t possible to them before, then why not appreciate this opportunity they now are given. And remember how entertained people would be in sports if people could run hundred meters in five seconds instead of eleven, it would be so much more fun to watch. Of course there would be a big rift between normal people and those superhumans, but that is just bad luck. We have to embrace the new technology and not fear it, because what if this new equipment would lead to longer life or in best scenario result in eternal life. How awesome would that be? Maybe this technology with result in a evolution of human kind, that in thousands of years, we would evolve wings and suddenly could fly and by that people could be rescued even faster or maybe even better, live in the sky. That would protect us from overpopulation and the danger of the raising water from the global warming.
I believe that there is only one Einstein in every hundred years, which have the ability to change the world. But what if this could lead to thousands of Einstein’s and that could lead to the cure of all the dangerous deceases that is threaten us, wouldn’t that be amazing? – You could go through life without any worries, and only focus on archiving your goals and realize your dreams. That is a world I would live in, and therefore I hope people don’t gets scared by the opportunity we are given.  

Ostemaden said...
on Jan. 30 2013 at 3:52 am
  I believe that if you can enhance the humanity to a better and secure future, it is necessary to welcome this form of technology. If you can change people that they no longer is in danger for themselves and to others, it would make our society much more safe. If the possibility is that some offspring now have the possibility to achieve greatness that wasn’t possible to them before, then why not appreciate this opportunity they now are given. And remember how entertained people would be in sports if people could run hundred meters in five seconds instead of eleven, it would be so much more fun to watch. Of course there would be a big rift between normal people and those superhumans, but that is just bad luck. We have to embrace the new technology and not fear it, because what if this new equipment would lead to longer life or in best scenario result in eternal life. How awesome would that be? Maybe this technology with result in a evolution of human kind, that in thousands of years, we would evolve wings and suddenly could fly and by that people could be rescued even faster or maybe even better, live in the sky. That would protect us from overpopulation and the danger of the raising water from the global warming.
I believe that there is only one Einstein in every hundred years, which have the ability to change the world. But what if this could lead to thousands of Einstein’s and that could lead to the cure of all the dangerous deceases that is threaten us, wouldn’t that be amazing? – You could go through life without any worries, and only focus on archiving your goals and realize your dreams. That is a world I would live in, and therefore I hope people don’t gets scared by the opportunity we are given.  

alice said...
on Jan. 28 2013 at 1:05 pm
i think that

Setizia GOLD said...
on Aug. 23 2012 at 5:01 pm
Setizia GOLD, Darnestown, Maryland
13 articles 5 photos 44 comments

Favorite Quote:
The purpose of life is to search eternally for the purpose of life

Can human genes really make people that much more powerful? While we haven't completely tapped into the miniscule tidbits of the human genome, I'll fairly certain, unless on transforms into an ostrich or gazelle or cheetah entirely, no genes can make a human run 4 times as fast as another. Even the most talented and "superhuman" sportsman still relies heavily on familial and friendly support, specialized diets, backbreaking and regular training, and sport-specific tailored clothes.

on Aug. 23 2012 at 4:16 pm
MusicBunny4595.7 SILVER, Waxahachie, Texas
6 articles 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
\\\"You know black, is this years pink.\\\" ~Glinda the Good

While I can understand the point you're making, as someone with an interest in becoming a generic scientist, I have an opposing view. As you said, the technology is still in it's infancy. As such we can't possibly imagine what the genetic possibilities that will occur in the next century, or possibly within the next few decades. DNA could have been looked at under a similar light when it was coming out: it's not our place to know so much. But how can we define what is meddling with nature? We can go out entirely and say remove the field completely, or we can have a gray area as it exists now. While I understand that human engineering might seem like a radical idea to some people, to me it just seems like a new frontier. After all, if we kept completely to natue there would have never landed on the moon.

on Aug. 2 2012 at 8:38 pm
BrightBurningCampeador PLATINUM, Portland, Oregon
42 articles 11 photos 333 comments
This article is well written and thoughtful, but one point "the science is still in its infancy" can just as easily be used to justify the other side of the argument. For example: The science is still in its infancy, and until we understand human genetics better people will continue to suffer without hope of a cure. The possibility of lives saved far outweighs the risk that a cure will never be found.

. said...
on Aug. 2 2012 at 5:00 pm
Perfection eliminates mutation. Mutation has made humans the species that they are today. Mutation and adaption are quintessentially natural selection. Fairly concise writing; thumbs up.

on Aug. 1 2012 at 2:44 pm
bluebird SILVER, Sandy Hook, Connecticut
8 articles 0 photos 45 comments
This is very true. In order to further proove your point, explore the many health issues with genetic engineering and how they may be triggering allergies and mental disablilities. By becomimg "improved" we are also disintegrating ourselves.

on Jul. 10 2012 at 4:58 pm
Dave, almost all dieases are avoidable, say cancer fro example, eating yellow green fruits and vegatables rid your body of cancer causing chemicals, plus like every other fruit and vegatable aid in fighting cancer. A carrot called Atomic Red has Lycopene which fights and prevents several types of cancer, and the Lycopene is more effective when the carrot is cooked 

on Jul. 10 2012 at 4:53 pm
GMO foods are absolutly horrible, they are really bad for your health, and the environment. 

Super Syd 3 said...
on May. 31 2012 at 11:11 am

This article is really thoughtful.  I never thought of it like that.  

 


on Jan. 25 2012 at 9:57 am
im the best! around!!!!

dave said...
on Jan. 16 2012 at 11:18 pm
I am a devoted chritian and I believe some aspects of evolution are real I will give you an example of what aspects are in my opinion imposible. giraffes are practically un evolutionised the are incapiable of evolution because because their body dimensions of it body and circulatiory system are flawless. in order to survive this magnificent creature needs to pump blood from the heart to the brain that is an amazing phenomina in any living creature but it is even more amazing and fascinating in such a long necked creature. the heart of the giraffe must stay and hasstayed absoultely unevolved to it original powerful form the day it was created that way the blood reaches all the vitail organs and most importantly the brain. the amount of blood pressure required to reach that high is lethal in any other living creature or a mutatedly evolved giraffe. These extreme elment would be imposible to handle if not for the unevolved anatomy of the giraffes circulatory system valves in the blood transportation tubes codntrol blood pressure this is especially important when the giraffe bends down to drink without these valves in the neck the amount of blood flowing to the brain will cause brain extreme damage to the brain and will instantly kill the animal. But n humans evolution should be continously occuring because we have no genentic or anatomy related barriers. we have simply stopped evolving. when dark people live in harsh sun countries that is evolution compared to people in the 16th century we're giants that is evolution. Evolution has been happening for millions of years and as what created survivors and diers in the animal kningdom that is why I said in my previous post that we need to give evolution a hand out of its stale mate. Crocdiles are now the tanks of the animal world but it was not always so their scaley skin has evolved from firm to steel hard there is even some debate that the crocdile started out a s the giant vegeterian dinosaurs phytosaurs. I can list many more creatures that have been perfectly created by evolution all the sharks lizzards mammals but I will only give you two more. it is true that the wolly mamoth is exctinct but that is because it has not evovled quick enough to survive in its new enviroment but it has beefore how do you explain the wool did it just find a wooly coat by happy chance when it went cold no its evolution the modern day elephant is also closely related to the evolution and extnincton of the wooly mamoth. I can go on like this all day about the evolutionised prehistoric mammals and reptiles but I hae one more abut a giant fish mans worst nightmare the great white shark there are other ones I can talk about but this one is by far my favourite. the megladon was instinct along with the dinosaurs as a result of the prehistoric giant wale which occupied much of its diet without vast supplies of it it had no food therefore killing the species but that is were evolution steped in it has created an identical copy of the the great frecious megladon in every aspect except size therefore ensuring it survival and enough food. wether you are a christian or an atheist or a buddahist evolution exsits and all it is is change exactly how when you water grass it changes colour and how when you put your hand on a hot surface you automatically start thinking about how to remove it. it is a survival instinct and mechanisim without it you probably would not be here right now and genetic enginerring would not exsit because all that is is controlled and sped up evoultion and change

on Jan. 16 2012 at 9:34 pm
someonewhoisme BRONZE, Normandy, Tennessee
3 articles 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You is smart. You is kind. You is important."-Aibileen- The Help

The thing is people don't play by the rules. You say people shouldn't use it to make their babies beutiful, or be the fastest, or the smartest, or the most talented, ect. Eventuelly humans would screw it up big time like we always end up doing. Maybe it would start out like only curing diseases, but then people will eventually abuse it. Cars are a good invention, yes? Well, look at the people that claim there's global warming in the world. They begg for everyone to stop using cars and get bikes. It'll start out good at first, but it'll quickly turn into a nightmare. Besides corn and human beings aren't the same thing.


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