The benefits of Genetic Engineering

March 26, 2010

Genetic engineering is the next step in human evolution.In the process of genetic engineering, select genes are removed or genes from other life forms are inserted into life forms . With genetic engineering, diseases can be cured and human life in general can be improved. As we learn more, we can see just how much we can accomplish with genetic engineering.

Genetic engineering has many benefits to human health. By tissue engineering, new tissues and organs are being grown to replace ones that are malfunctioning.The Biotechnology Industry Organization(BIO) has an instance where “a group of patients with only a 10 to 20 percent probability of survival regained normal kidney function and left the hospital in good health because the hybrid kidney prevented the events that typically follow kidney failure: infection, sepsis, and multi-organ failure.” The use of cell transplants can help to keep people alive while waiting for organ transplants by using the cells to imitate the function of the organ they are waiting for. BIO states that “approximately 10 people die each day waiting for organs to become available for transplantation.” The use of cell transplants can help diminish this loss. In addition, genetic engineering can help us create better vaccines to more diseases. BIO also stated that “biotechnology is helping us improve existing vaccines and create new vaccines against infectious agents, such as the viruses that cause cervical cancer and genital herpes.” The use of genetic engineering has many benefits to human health and more are being discovered over time. (BIO)

Genetic engineering also has many benefits for society as well. Genetic engineering is a sound economic investment that will bring large profit. Authors and futurists Joseph Coates (also a professer at George Washington University) and Andy Hines suggest that “a good guess is that genetics will account for about 20% of gross domestic product, or roughly $2 trillion in 2025.” Genetic engineering can also help with many forms of species management like pest control. Coates and Hines also state that “insects that carry disease will also be targeted through genetic engineering to control their populations. It is hoped that malaria will soon be eliminated this way.” With genetic engineering, microorganisms can be used to produce various materials.In addition, Coates and Hines suggest that “manufacturers will use engineered microorganisms to produce commodity and specialty chemicals, as well as medicines, vaccines, and drugs.” Genetic engineering can benefit society in many practical ways and can bring society in to the future. (Coates and Hines)

Despite genetic engineering’s numerous benefits, some people have doubts about it. Some believe that genetic engineering will have limited abilities to help with genetic diseases. Bernard Gert is the Eunice and Julian Cohen Professor for the Study of Ethics and Human Values at Dartmouth College. Gert belives that “the technology required must be applied on an individual basis with rather limited accessibility.” However, all medical procedures must be done on an individual basis and there is no proof to suggest that will be limited so this argument is invalid. Some also believe that genetic engineering could have an effect on future generations.Gert states that ”genetic therapy, like genetic enhancement, not only is permanent during the entire lifetime of the affected individual, the transgene becomes inheritably transmitted to countless members of future generations.” However, the risk of a harmful change is minimal for it would be identical to the change the parent received and therefore, there would be no danger to the child. In addition, it is believed that genetic engineering will lead to abuse and inequality. Gert also suggests that “Moreover, gene therapy will be, for the foreseeable future, a very expensive procedure, so only the wealthy will be able to afford it.” However, this is only a belief and they have no proof to back it up.

Genetic Engineering is the next step in the evolution of humanity and has many benefits. Some of them are for human health and others for society in general. Since our future as a species depends on it, we cannot allow beliefs of a few people to limit the progress of our species as a whole.

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This article has 1 comment.

Mikey123 said...
on Feb. 20 2015 at 11:03 am
Wow!This is just wow! Great job!

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