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blood cell production Genetic engineering 3

Science is a creature that continues to evolve at an ever-increasing rate.  The transformation from tree shrew, to ape, to human far exceeds the time for the transformation time from an analytical machine, to a calculator, to a computer.  However, science, in the past, has always remained distant.  Science has allowed advances in production, transportation, and even entertainment; but never in history will science have an affect on our lives, as genetic engineering will undoubtedly do.  For the last decade, science has made vast improvements in genetics, monitored by the Human Genome Project.  The goal of this organization is to identify and understand the entire genetic constitution.  "They have the daunting task of identifying and mapping all of the eighty thousand genes, in human DNA, they are making new discoveries weekly" (Reuterlinkextra).  With these discoveries comes many implications, In reviewing the literature genetic engineering needs to be banned because of the social, religious, ethical, and legal implications.
The first step to understanding genetic engineering is to know the start of its creation.  Genetics achieved its first foothold on the secrets of nature's evolutionary process, when an Austrian Monk named Gregor Mendel developed the basics of how genetics work.  Using this, scientist studied the characteristics of organisms for the next one hundred years following Mendel's discoveries.  These early studies concluded that each organism has two sets of character determinants, genes (Stableford 16).  For instance, in regards to eye color, a child could receive one set of genes from his or her father that were encoded one blue, the other brown.  The same child could also receive from its mother two brown genes.  The conclusion is that the child would have a three out of four chance of having brown eyes and a one out if four chance of having blue eyes (Stableford 16).
Inside every person is Deoxyribonucleic acid or more commonly known as DNA.  DNA exist as two long, fine strands of DNA spiraling into the famous figure of the double helix.  The discovery of DNA is attributed to three scientist, Francis Crik, Maurice Wilkins, and James Dewey.   All were given the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine in 1962  (Lewin 1).
Each strand of DNA is composed of millions of the essential chemical building blocks of life, chemical bases. "There are four bases Adenine (A), Thiamin (T), Guanine (G), and Cytosine (C).  These bases can only be paired in certain order, (A) only with (T), (G) only with (C), and vice versa" (Barnes 180).  The order of in which these bases occur determine the information available, much as specific letters combine to form words in a sentence.  
DNA resides in the nucleus of all of our cells, except the red blood cells.  In each nucleus, there are forty-six molecules of coiled, double stranded DNA. Each one of these molecules is housed in a structure called a chromosome.  Inside each chromosome are genes. Genes are the chemical message of heredity.  "Genes constitute a blueprint of our possibilities and limitations, the legacy of generations of our ancestors, our genes carry the key to our similarities and uniqueness" (Genetic).  Genes are made up of the chemical bases Adenine, Thiamin, Guanine, and Cytosine.  These base in a certain order makes up codes, these codes determine if you are short, tall, fat, skinny, and etc.
The sex cells are half of the forty-six chromosomes, twenty-three to be exact.  In these cells, by random only certain genes are carried by the cells.  When the sex cell from a man, sperm, and a sex cell from a woman, an egg, combine their genetic information and a new life is created with the traits from its parents.  
Genetic engineering is isolating and removing a desired gene from a strand of DNA.  In genetic engineering, many different apparatuses are used in removing the gene.  One way DNA can be broken up is by ultra-high frequency sound waves, but this procedure is highly inaccurate way of isolating a desirable trait (Stableford 26).  A more accurate way of obtaining the desired trait is the use of restriction enzymes.  These enzymes chemically cut the DNA at a particular location on the strand.  Now that the trait is cut out, it ... more

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Blood doping

Running the Race to Obtain the Prize?

Each year athletes ability to perform seems to increase by leaps and bounds.  Some reasons for this can be attributed to better training methods, better conditioning techniques, and better over all health of the athlete.  While most situations involve one or more of the previously scenarios, some athletes always seem to take it to a step further.  They engage in a process called blood doping.  This procedure does increase physical performance and athletic ability, but potentially may do more harm than good.
For purpose of emphasis and understanding, some background information is needed to fully understand exactly what blood doping can do for an individual.  In order for muscles to perform, they need a ready supply of oxygen.  During high intensity exercise, oxygen is depleted and the body can not get enough oxygen to the muscle in order for them to perform their optimal potential.  This lack of ability to get oxygen to the muscle is called oxygen debt and results in lactic acid being formed.  Lactic acid is a waste product of anaerobic cellular respiration within the muscle tissue, which can cause muscle sourness that, usually, is felt after a hard or long workout.  Fatigue usually sets in with the onset of lactic acid production.  Oxygen is carried to the muscle by two delivery systems.  Three percent of oxygen is carried in plasma and ninety-seven percent is in hemoglobin, the principal protein in erythrocytes (red blood cells).  If hemoglobin amounts are increased, this will lead to increased oxygen levels that can be transported to the muscles.  Allowing the muscles to become more fatigue resistant.
 Blood doping could have opposite effect of those intended.  A large infusion of red blood cells could increase blood thickness and cause a decrease in cardiac output and a reduction in oxygen content.  Both would reduce aerobic capacity.  The human heart was not designed to pump thickened blood throughout the body and, therefore, it could lead to a multitude of problems.  The diseases that can be contracted from autologous blood transfusion are severe.  Even more frightening is the list of diseases that can be contracted through homologous blood transfusion.  It includes hepatitis, AIDS, malaria, and CMV.  In addition, shock is a factor to be aware of.  
All blood doping procedures used in attempt to improve athletic performance is unethical and unfair.  Taking a risk like blood doping to win a race is sad.  It shows you as being to compulsive and to hard on yourself.  Blood doping is for cheaters that cannot work hard enough for what they want.  In basketball practice Coach Higgins always says, If you want it you got to be ready to work for it.  We know that when he says work it means run hard and dive for the lose balls.  We know its going to be hard.  We just go with the flow and take it as it comes.  Blood doping is a risk.  It should not be considered for health and moral reasons.
There is also several other negative factors related to blood doping.  It is said that any procedure that involves taking the blood out and putting it back in can be a serous health risk.  The transfusion can result in bacterial infections, fatal reactions due to blood mislabeling stroke, congestive heart failure, hypertension, and blood clots.  These health problems are very dangerous and are the reason why blood doping is banned.  Proof that the procedure works is not etched in stone.  If there is negative effects, it doesnt work right?
Although blood doping is risky, it has some positive effects.  Blood doping also has been proven to be advantageous for heat acclimated athletes, aiding in thermoregulation.  The athletes that are used to the heat can get help maintaining a natural body heat different from the heat of the environment.  In addition, blood doping is similar to other methods of raising red blood cell volume.  Training at a high altitude will have the same effect.  Also, the High Altitude Bed is the same.  Since it is legal, safe and natural, the mentioned procedure of red blood cell enhancement it has ironically gained the name Holistic Blood Doping.   Blood doping is ... more

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