Dolly was a sheep that was the first living clone in its time, not a country
music star from Tennessee. This was a magnificent feat but what did it mean? To some it meant a world of possibility, to others it meant havoc. Who is right? Who is wrong? These questions are unanswerable which results in a never-ending controversy. This controversy over the benefits and dangers of genetic engineering in humans, animals and plants will live on forever. There are many benefits of genetic engineering. At the forefront of these benefits is preventing and curing illnesses. Imagine beating chronic, fatal diseases before they strike. Think of the lives, money, suffering and effort that could be saved if doctors could identify individuals that are genetically stricken with heart disease, cancer and many other diseases. Take cancer for example. Scientists are working on a way to alter the processes of the body's own immune system so that white T-Cells will attack cancerous tumors. The T- Cells will be biologically altered and engineered to perform a specific function unlike current T- Cells who don't have a specific antagonist to fight against (Hagelin 2001). If research is funded well enough so that it can continue, society will see an incurable disease such as cancer disappear like a rabbit in a hat.
Other diseases that are known to be passed on genetically can also be cured
using gene therapy. A gene therapist could go into the embryo and find the
mutated gene that causes heart disease or high cholesterol and replace or
extract the defective gene. This conception of prenatal gene therapy is derived from the idea that a doctor would be able to "test" an unborn baby for defections. Many people argue that the prenatal testing can be harmful due to social and medical implications (Wekesser 1996). These implications include malpractice and increased stress on the mother of the baby. Clearly, much controversy exists over...