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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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Human genome project 2
It all started back in 1953 with two men by the names of
James D. Watson and Francis Crick when they discovered the
double-helical structure of DNA. Little did they know they were
opening the door to the creation of a perfect world. In 1986,
the Human Genome Project, led up by the National Institution of
Health(NIH), took a giant leap through this door. They began the
long process of mapping out the entire genetic makeup of the
human body. The main purpose of the HGP was originally for the
use of preventing inherent diseases. However, as studies
continue to progress, increased opportunities arise for
genetically altering the unborn. You are now able to choose the
sex of you child before they are born with great accuracy. What
is on the horizon now, is the possibility of designing your child
to be “perfect”. Over the years, there has been heated, ethical
controversy on each of these issues, especially designer babies.
How far will we let biotechnological discovery take us? What
will come of the world if designer babies become standard
The earliest and maybe simplest use of genetic manipulation
was in the selection of the sex of an unborn child. In Vitro
Fertilization(IVF - A procedure in which a woman’s eggs are
removed from her body, fertilized outside using sperm from her
husband or another donor, and then transferred back to her body.)
was originally limited to couples that were infertile. Even the
use of IVF for the infertile was unheard of at one point. “But
growing demand makes it socially acceptable, and now anybody
who’s infertile demands IVF,” says Lee Silver, a Princeton
University biologist. Several years ago, fertility clinics
announced the new possibility of sex selection. It was obviously
an exciting breakthrough, but when these clinics were inquired
about their results, they only had about a 50 percent success
rate. “Its affluent clients could have achieved exactly the same
outcome by leaving a note for the tooth fairy, requesting a girl
or a boy”(Riddell). In the same way, there were many who were
opposed to the idea at first especially with the results they
were getting, but over time the procedures have been almost
perfected and it has become socially acceptable.(Lemonick)
Many issues have arisen from the possibilities sex selection
will provide. In cultures where males are valued more than
girls, such as China and India, assured sex selection could
really throw off an already out of balance society. In the
United States it may not be as likely for there to be a favored
sex, generally speaking. In our case, it is more of a weighted
opinion on what order you should have your kids, what sex should
come first. Statistics show that the ideal family has a male as
the firstborn. Males tend to be more assertive and more dominant
than females, as do firstborns. If you put all this together, it
seems as though we are headed towards an even more male-dominated
world. This is obviously a huge issue not only for the feminist
and gender-role stereotypes, but also for the more general idea
of a balance of nature. Will females eventually fade out of
existence? That is obviously farfetched, but definitely not
At this point, the majority still agrees that the provisions
of genetic engineering should be limited to the correction of
inherent diseases. There are two primary ways that genetics can
be used to treat diseases. The first is gene therapy, in which
one or more genes are injected into the patient to replace those
that are absent or not working properly. This approach has been
used to treat a broad range of disorders such as heart disease,
many forms of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, AIDS, and
many more. The second way to employ genes to treat diseases is
known as small-molecule therapy. In this approach, the patient
is given a small molecule (drug) to modify the function of one or
more genes in the body. When the pioneers of gene therapy first
requested government approval for their experiments in 1987, they
vowed they would never alter the patients’ germline (eggs or
Dr. W. French Anderson, who had ... more
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E: Genetic Engineering
Genetic Engineering Genetic Engineering: A leap in to the future or a leap towards destruction? Introduction Science is a creature that continues to evolve at a much higher rate than the beings that gave it birth. The transformation time from tree-shrew, to ape, to human far exceeds the time from an analytical engine, to a calculator, to a computer. However, science, in the past, has always remained distant. It has allowed for advances in production, transportation, and even entertainment, but n...
G: Genetic engineering 3
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G: Human genome project 2
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S: Genetic engineering. 2
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