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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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Tabitha P. said...
Jul. 31, 2009 at 10:04 pm:
I don't agree, partially because I aspire to be a genetic engineer myself. First off, as technology advances, the price drops. Genetic engineering won't cost as much as it does now 20 or 30 years from now, so not just the rich will be "super human." It'll be cheaper to have these things done, as well as efficient down the road. Secondly, we, as humans, naturally try to better ouselves and be on top. We are not trying to "play too big of a role" in our vast universe. We wish to be ... (more »)
 
Kate replied...
Sept. 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm :
I agree with you, Tabitha! Biotechnology and genetic engineering is fascinating and useful.
 
vejman replied...
Oct. 24, 2009 at 1:44 pm :
i think that the only way that the only way genetic engineering in humans is alright is to eliminate disease. its just not natural. genetic engineerin in food is also dangerous and causes allergic reactions in some people. and before u say i know nothing about it, ive benn involved with this issue for awhile, and im in a biotechnology votech program.
 
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Chrissy_L said...
Jul. 5, 2009 at 10:08 pm:
Very interesting, although I am for the advances we make in genetic engineering, especially life saving ones such as "kiara_macnamara" mentioned, one can't help but wonder how it will eventually effect the classes of society themselves. I feel that even nowadays the gap between rich and poor is devastating. Many people brought up in the inner cities and poorer towns do not have the same oppertunities as may other children, regardless of how talented or smart they are. Which seems to entirely ... (more »)
 
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kiara_macnamara said...
May 30, 2009 at 12:24 am:
sorry to all of you who think that bio engineering is evil, but it does have some potentially life-saving applications. they're developing a new kind of rice called golden rice by taking the genes that produce beta carotine in daffodils and putting them into rice so that they produce it too. and people break down beta carotine into vitamin A, so by putting it in rice, it pretty much solves vitamin A deficiency in under-developed countries because rice is a staple food. wonderin how i know thi... (more »)
 
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LilMissEnsign said...
May 5, 2009 at 1:50 pm:
Imagine you (or a close friend/relative) has a life-threatening disease. The only cure is to genetically engineer your genes so they're immune to the disease. What would you do then? "Play God" or die?

I disagree with you. Genetic engineering, to a point, can be good. Like what natti.lane said, it can save living things, like papaya. If it is only used when absolutely necessary, it can be a very beneficial thing.
 
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fisherj This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 2, 2009 at 11:22 pm:
Hate to burst your bubble, but genetic engineering in this day and age is not even in the same universe as the sci-fi ridiculousness paraded about by those who went crawling under their beds after watching the X-files and now masquerade as experts. The reality of genetic engineering is less horrifying and more simply amazing. In the pursuit of saving lives and preserving our world, there is no difference between a GM Grapefruit and a good ol' fashioned road-side fruit stand one. When resea... (more »)
 
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pixiegirl123 said...
Apr. 8, 2009 at 5:31 am:
i totally agree with you. we are not meant to play god. if we were we would have been given that power when we were born. this could backfire so bad. it would be like making a disease for enemies. eventually it would come back to bite us in the butt
 
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.dia. said...
Apr. 1, 2009 at 1:03 am:
i like your opinions about this subject. i totally agree with everything u've said, and this info is vevy useful to me thnx =]
 
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purplepineapple31 said...
Mar. 20, 2009 at 2:15 am:
i definitely have to agree with you, but not just because it is a dangerous idea, but also because, when we are made, we are made just the way God wants us to be, and we have no right to alter His plan. It's his decision as the one who made the world we live in, and who made the people trying to play his role. So it's ridiculous to even try to put yourself in his position.
 
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nothing better said...
Mar. 18, 2009 at 1:44 pm:
Whats wrong with it?
I personally think genetic engineering is a good idea.
 
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dogsrock13 said...
Feb. 5, 2009 at 12:29 am:
I thought this was awesome! i totally agree with you . well written good job
 
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JennaWennaSwims said...
Jan. 22, 2009 at 9:20 pm:
I agree with you all the way. its not natural. If you have ever read the series "Uglies" then you can kind-of understand where im coming from. Technology only gets more and more high tech every day. Soon you'll be able to completely cange the childs appearence and bone structure. The thing you said about the richer families being totally seperat from the not so weathy people is right. People like me who cant afford this (not that i would want to do it to my child) will always have to s... (more »)
 
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Josh123456789 said...
Jan. 21, 2009 at 6:38 pm:
I definitely agree iwth you. People should not be allowed to make their child exactly the way they want it. If they want him or her to be a good sports player, it wouldn't be fair for the people who actually worked and trained for their ability.
 
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Romance Exploder said...
Jan. 21, 2009 at 5:36 pm:
While the article does have good points and intelligent writing, I would have to disagree. Yes, this would seperate society more,but aren't the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer everyday? And isn't it the choice of the person who wants a gene alteration done anyway? It isn't any of your or my business what they think and want. We all want something, and we can chooose to go and get it, or not. And emerging research shows that only will physical characteristics be able to be changed... (more »)
 
AquariusSun&Moon This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 2, 2009 at 9:58 am :
You have a very good point about it 'being none of our business' what other people do. I must disagree however with your view on the health benefits since it is OUR responsibility in the first place to keep ourselves healthy. Too many people blame something or someone else for their problems when really YOU are the only one who can truly make the changes in your life.
 
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happygolucky7 said...
Jan. 21, 2009 at 4:27 pm:
In some ways I do agree but in others I do not.It could be used for great things , but also awful things. If I was asked that Question I would say under certain terms, but more than one person would have to dicide though.
 
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natti.lane said...
Jan. 18, 2009 at 10:41 pm:
I actually disagree. Genetic engineering can be a good thing. I just recently spent alot of time researching it and uncovered many interesting facts. A while ago, a virus hit and killed all of the papaya plants, EXCEPT the genetically modified ones. Now, the only papaya avalible is genetically changed papaya. No other type of papaya can be grown. Yes, with advanced technology comes great risks, but the advantages are also great. I do not agree with genetically modifying human genes for co... (more »)
 
AquariusSun&Moon This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 2, 2009 at 10:07 am :
I have nothing against GE as long as it is used wisely and not just 'because we can'.
 
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tweedle dee said...
Jan. 17, 2009 at 3:04 am:
i agree 100% with you. this can and will backfire if it continues, and the results will be absolutly devastating. especially what you said about segregation. this has the potential to tear our country apart. god made us how we are for a reason and when we dont see it and change ourselves so drastically, we destroy what we are supposed to do. thank you tons for writing this, i hope everyone reads this!
 
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