Review of Genetic Engineering
Genes are extremely important because they are the basic building blocks of our bodies; they decide all the properties for organisms and build the proteins that help our bodies function. They determine specific human characteristics, such as height, hair colour and eye colour. These are hereditary, meaning they are passed on from one generation to another. Hereditary genes can also involve passing on genes that carry diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and cancer. Scientists are currently researching new techniques to try and eliminate genes with diseases and replace them with neutral genes; these techniques include gene therapy, genetic manipulation and cloning. I will briefly discuss how these methods are used, what are the benefits and the moral and ethical issues surrounding these techniques.
Gene therapy is a technique that uses neutral genes to try and treat or prevent diseases in the hope that in the future this technique may allow doctors to treat disorders without using drugs or surgery. Researching gene therapy has brought about new discoveries including introducing a new gene into the body to help fight a disease, replacing a mutate gene that causes disease with a neutral copy and inactivating a mutated gene. Even though gene therapy is a promising treatment option for a number of diseases, the technique still remains risky and is currently understudy to make sure that it will be safe and effective.. There are also a number of moral and ethical issues surrounding the subject including long-term effects on human health and the environment, human DNA and non-human DNA being blended and social, religious, personal and cultural consequences. Questions have arisen such as who will decide which traits are ‘normal’ and what constitutes as a disease? Will the high costs make the treatments only available to the wealthy? Could the use of gene therapy make society less accepting of people who are different? And...