For years our culture teeters on a brink of a dangerous precipice. Advancements in technology will soon allow us to vividly transform permanently and radically almost everything in the world we live in. As a matter of fact, with technology, we hold in our hands the capability to transform even who we are as humans. The technology I am referring to is genetic engineering. As is expected, genetic engineering is a very controversial subject, when mentioned, questions surrounding the ethical and technical dimensions of the same are also swirled around. For the most part, when genetic engineering is mentioned we think of a destructive force of new animals and plants unleashed on the environment with improved capabilities to survival. Yes, to some extent that is the case. However, in reassurance, genetic technology is undoubtedly capable of currently changing our world.
Genetic engineering provides the possibility of innumerable improvements to our daily lives as well as cures for diseases, not only now but in the future too for better or worse. Unfortunately, the term genetic engineering conjures up images of ghastly misuse, experiments that result in clones, some of which are monstrous or adversely detrimental. However, genetic engineering is simply defined as the science of altering the genetic materials (DNA) by direct intervention in genetic processes with an aim of producing and altogether improving the functions of organisms. Genetic engineering has the capability of enhancing people’s lifestyles and health. Genetic engineering presents the capability of improving people’s health. Today, genetic engineering is utilized in the combat against diseases such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis, and the bubble boy disease. Typically, the bubble boy disease is characterized by gene mutation that results in damages to the immune system. However, since 1990, genetic engineering has been used to insert copies of an inactive virus carrier to patients. The copies have been able to grow as colonies in individuals bodies, successfully treating the immune system. In fact, there is much hope; advancements in genetic engineering would enable people to live without the fear of cancer or AIDS. Genetic engineering may be used to directly modify the genome in the mother’s uterus or after birth. As the precedent part has established, post birth administration of DNA is currently used in treating diseases. Future application of the same may widen the capability of treating additional diseases.
Perhaps, the most controversial debate is the application of genetic engineering in enhancements of the human being genome. For instance, genetic doping is a non-therapeutic employment of genetic engineering in enhancing an individual athletic performance. The goals of such treatments serve to increase desired performance effects by increasing the muscle mass. The idea of introducing vaccines into food products is also a reality. Proponents of the same claim that specific crops that are genetically engineered may be able to deliver inexpensive vaccines for diseases, one such has been successfully engineered in potatoes and bananas to produce hepatitis B virus. Similar approaches in genetic engineering and biotechnology can be utilized to bring an end to world hunger.
Genetic modifications to crops have the capability of solving issues relating to poor crop climates, expensive pesticides, and fertilizers as well as enhancements of the nutritional content of some crops. Undoubtedly, the future of genetic engineering to the environment is unpredictable. Genetically engineered species have the capability of producing an in balance in the ecology. Since the field of genetic engineering is still in conception, trials and errors may result in accidents that may cause series of epidemics. Genetic engineering may also create unknown outcomes and side effects in both plants and animals. Changes in animals and plants may result in allergic reactions and even toxicity to humans and another organism.