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Genetic Engineering This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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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.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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geoman said...
Feb. 19 at 9:51 am:
thank you this realy help me understanding what genetic engineering is all about 
 
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izzy857 said...
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  
 
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Ostedrengen said...
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 wou... (more »)
 
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Ostemaden said...
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 wou... (more »)
 
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SetiziaThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Aug. 23, 2012 at 5:01 pm:
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 tai... (more »)
 
alice replied...
Jan. 28, 2013 at 1:05 pm :
i think that
 
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MusicBunny4595.7 said...
Aug. 23, 2012 at 4:16 pm:
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 ca... (more »)
 
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BrightBurningCampeadorThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 2, 2012 at 8:38 pm:
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.
 
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. said...
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.
 
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bluebird said...
Aug. 1, 2012 at 2:44 pm:
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.
 
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Super Syd 3 said...
May 31, 2012 at 11:11 am:

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

 

 
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sally sunshine said...
Jan. 25, 2012 at 9:57 am:
im the best! around!!!!
 
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Viridian said...
Jan. 16, 2012 at 2:03 pm:
I disagree. I think it would be good to cure genetic diseases. And if the government opposed regulations, then the whole rich people thing would work out. Just imagine. People could be smarter, faster, better.
 
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DarkMountain said...
Dec. 3, 2011 at 10:42 pm:
Genetic engineering could create a new system of segregation, and most likely would when first introduced- as you say, the rich would have it and the poor wouldn't. As technology becomes cheaper and becomes available to the masses, however, such as universal health care is in some countries (and should be in the US), this potential is removed- if everyone can have it, everyone will. Is it worth the initial conflict? And how long will that take? People fall on both sides. I enjoyed reading this v... (more »)
 
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MissyMayBelle said...
Dec. 3, 2011 at 9:59 pm:
This really made me think. Thanks!!
 
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Clear_Skies said...
Dec. 3, 2011 at 7:46 pm:
And so the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. You're right. Us humans have enough predjudices already, so it's not the best idea to throw in genes as well. Nice job writing this! I totally agree!
 
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Genya This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 3, 2011 at 12:05 pm:

'm okay with genetic engineering if its for plants, and certaina animals (to produce more food for our growing population.)

But humans are a different story. This was in a movie once, Gattica, and in it people were discriminated against because of their genes. To have genetically altered humans, is like giving steroids to athletes. I'm with you on this one!

 
ConstanceContraireThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Jul. 10, 2012 at 4:53 pm :
GMO foods are absolutly horrible, they are really bad for your health, and the environment. 
 
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lzcelloplayerThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Sept. 24, 2011 at 6:36 pm:

This is an interesting debatable topic. Although I'm not which side I'm on, but this is also a very well written article. You did a great job on it, and this makes me think a little. Do we really want to advance our technology to change peoples genes? And is this morally right? 

Again, great job on it! :D

 
thought replied...
Oct. 20, 2011 at 2:13 am :

Could you imagine, in ten years or so, A person telling their best friend, or a man telling his wife, that they were geneticly altered at birth. Would you look at that person the same way if they told you.

It isn't fair, it isn't natural, it isn't right.

(by the way great article)

 
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