Genetic Engineering: Altering the Face of Science for the Betterment of Society

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Genetic Engineering:
Altering the face of science for the betterment of society

Genetic engineering has become one of the most hotly debated topics worldwide. As said by British biologist P.B. Medawar, “Nothing since the early days of atomic weaponry has caused so much dismay as the real or imagined threats associated with the development of genetic engineering… [1].” For some, genetic engineering represents a threat to natural life on Earth. At the same time, there are others who hail this new field as the most promising breakthrough in the last few decades. With the knowledge I have so far, I personally believe that with the right amount of time, money and regulations, genetic engineering will help reduce disease, save countless lives. Before we discuss the issues with genetic engineering, I think we have to know how this technology came about. In the 1950’s, three scientists, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, and James Dewey Watson, were credited with the discovery of DNA [2]. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) carries a living organisms genetic code and the manipulation of it created the field of genetic engineering. In a way, manipulation of genes is not really new. Long before, farmers have controlled the outcome of plant and animal breeding through selective breeding. It all first started with the concept of selective breeding, which is still done today by arranging animals to breed together to enhance and increase genetic make-up [3]. But unlike genetic engineering, the manipulation of genes in selective breeding is all natural and can only be done within the same species. Genetic engineering has boundless opportunities and that comes with controversies. One of the hot topics in genetic engineering is the genetically modified plants and genetically modified crops. Plants can be used to produce and grow the way we wish by genetically altering them to be resistant against pests and withstand harsh weather conditions etc. I strongly support transgenic



Bibliography: Spangenburg, Ray. Genetic Engineering: Open for debate. New York: Benchmark books, 2004. 10-30. Lewin, Seymour Z. "Nucleic Acids". Microsoft Encarta [CD-Rom]. Microsoft Corporation, Funk & Wagnalls Corporation, 1994. Tagliaferro, Linda. Genetic Engineering: Progress or Peril?. Lerner Publishing Group, 1997. History of Genetic Engineering, on the History of Science website, http://historyofsciences.blogspot.com/2008/09/history-of-genetic-engineering.html; accessed 28 September 2009 "Common genetic diseases." Genetic Diseases. Wordpress, n.d. Web. 27 Apr 2010. http://www.genetic-diseases.net/common-genetic-diseases/. Glick, Bernard. Molecular Biotechnology: Principles and Applications of Recombinant DNA. 4th ed. Washington, DC: ASM press, 2010. 240- 900. Print. Bohlin, Ray. Human Genetic Engineering. Leadership U, 14 06 2002. Web. 27 Apr 2010. . "The Legality Of Human Cloning." Human Cloning Foundation. http://www.humancloning.org/legality.htm

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