The Dark Side of Genetic Engineering

The Dark Side of Genetic Engineering

Length: 1104 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
I never knew what genetic engineering was until I watched a special on the Discovery channel. The special showed scientists forming the first “perfect” embryo. What was very shocking was that the scientists kept asking each other what traits this embryo should compose of. To me that was disturbing and unethical to make a living human being based on what traits the parents would want them to have. This process goes against nature just as Francis Bacon said “if we would control nature, we must first obey her” (Fox 193). Genetic Engineering does not end world hunger or cure diseases but it takes lives, harms the environment and causes new diseases to emerge.
According to Genetic Engineering Opposing Viewpoints, genetic engineering is a science where genes can be altered and manipulated in different ways to adjust the characteristics of an organism or a group of organisms, also known as biotechnology. Genetic Engineering was first introduced to the world in the 1970’s as a result of genetics and study of hereditary (Stich 12).
One result of genetic engineering technology is defective animals. As Dr. John Hasler cofounder of an animal biotechnology company in Pennsylvania predicted, “We’re going to make animals that nature never made” (Johnson 18). With transgenic (transferring genes from one species to another) research, animals are “custom-designed” to being disease “models.” An experiment was conducted by the U.S Department of Agriculture; the experimenters inserted a human growth hormone into pigs to create animals that grow faster and bigger then their siblings on less food. The experiment backfired leaving the pigs with many different diseases such as arthritis, gastric ulcers, enlarged hearts, kidney problems, and dermatitis (Johnson 18). If this experiment was never conducted by the U.S Department of Agriculture, who are suppose to protect the environment including animals, the pigs would have a healthier life and grow at a normal rate without the suffering from diseases that plague our world. This is one form of animal cruelty.
Many supporters of genetic engineering have said that the technology can end world hunger. According to Stephen Leahy, in his article he states that even though world hunger is a major economical and social problem, genetically altered crops cannot sustain the number of people that live on the planet. The GE crops that are being grown such as cotton, corn and soy are all engineered to resist herbicides and only can be afforded by big commercial companies (Leahy 50).

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Dark Side of Genetic Engineering." 16 Feb 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Genetic Engineering and Cryonic Freezing: A Modern Frankenstein? Essay

- Genetic Engineering and Cryonic Freezing: A Modern Frankenstein.      In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, a new being was artificially created using the parts of others. That topic thus examines the ethics of "playing God" and, though written in 1818, it is still a relevant issue today. Genetic engineering and cryogenic freezing are two current technologies related to the theme in the novel of science transcending the limits of what humans can and should do.   Genetic engineering is widely used today....   [tags: Genetic Engineering Essay Examples]

Research Papers
1507 words (4.3 pages)

Essay about The Pros and Cons of Genetic Engineering

- ... One thing it can do is enable hereditary diseases to be treated so they are not past off to their offspring. Genetic engineering can also enable scientists to make animals have certain characteristics and enable to them to remove certain characteristics. Take Jackie for example she was a normal pig when the expirement first started. Scientists then took the glowing gene from a jellyfish and transplanted the gene from the pig with the one of the jellyfish. Soon after the lights were shut off and Jackie was glowing....   [tags: technology, environmental issues]

Research Papers
841 words (2.4 pages)

Human Genetic Engineering: Dreams and Nightmares Essay

- Technological breakthroughs and advancements have occurred so rapidly since the dawn of the information age, that one often overlooks the great power humanity holds over the building blocks of life itself. While our understanding and mapping of Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequences has been slow coming since Friedrich Miescher’s isolation of the double-helix shaped molecule, efforts in recent decades to map the human genome have opened many doors to the potential manipulation of life’s basic elements....   [tags: human genome, human genetics, cloning]

Research Papers
1162 words (3.3 pages)

Essay Synthetic Biology And The Engineering Of Living Systems

- Synthetic biology and the engineering of living systems are the new branch of biology and engineering combined. These two subjects combine many disciplines such as biotechnology, molecular biology, systems biology, chemical engineering and computer engineering. Over the past decade, many engineers have become interested in ‘doing biology’.1 However, people still believe that we do not yet know enough biology to make synthetic biology a predictable engineering discipline.1 Therefore, this new branch requires more time in order to be understandable....   [tags: Engineering, Chemistry, Human, Time]

Research Papers
770 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on The Light and Dark Side of DNA Technology

- The Light and Dark Side of DNA Technology As with most modern advances, DNA technology has opened the door to a vast new world of discovery. On the positive side, DNA aids us in the fight against disease, such as cancer, and many genetic disorders, such as muscular dystrophy. Yet many in society are concerned with the ethical issue of using DNA in matters such as cloning, genetic tampering, and the irratication of less than perfect fetuses resulting selective human reproduction. Most diseases have a genetic basis, therefore if scientists are able to locate the genes that are responsible for diseases, it would aid in the treatment and prevention of disease....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
449 words (1.3 pages)

Essay on Human Genetic Engineering

- Introduction What if you could design your child before it was even born. What if you could cut out any life threatening diseases, make sure that your child is not susceptible to smoking addictions or alcoholism, and then make your child genius. Would you. Are you asking yourself how this could be done. Have you ever considered human genetic engineering. What is Human Genetic Engineering. Lets start by looking at the cell and the source of heritable traits. We know that all organisms are made up by cells and that new cells can only spring from existing cells....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Research Papers
1513 words (4.3 pages)

Bioprocess Engineering Science Essay

- Introduction: Bioprocess engineering science is a big field of science, where four of different major subjects such as chemical engineering, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Biomedical Science, and Engineering Material; work together in harmony to solve many difficult problems which is possible to face the scientist in Biomedical Science, energy product, nutrition and designing devices such as bioreactors [1], With modified and added. Bioreactor is one of the most familiar words in bioprocessing engineering's books....   [tags: Biology]

Research Papers
1582 words (4.5 pages)

The Benefits of Genetic Engineering Essay

- Almost three decades ago, on July 25, 1978, Louise Brown, the first “test tube baby” was born (Baird 1). With this birth another controversy broke out, do humans have the right to make life. Most of the concern comes from the fear of control over the production and development of human beings. But, those who are against cloning would most likely look the other way if they needed gene therapy after receiving a grim diagnosis. There are many aspects of genetic engineering and to thoroughly understand it looking into each is absolutely necessary....   [tags: Genetic Engineering ]

Research Papers
1443 words (4.1 pages)

Essay about The Genetic Engineering Industry

- Ever wish chocolate was healthy and could have the same nutrients and vitamins as fruit and vegetables. Food, one of three necessities of life, affects every living organism on Earth. Although some foods are disliked because of taste or health issues, recent discovery will open up new prosperities and growth in agriculture. Genetic engineering has the capability to make foods taste better, increase nutrient value, and even engineer plants to produce aids for deadly health issues. Every day the progress, understanding, and development of genetic engineering is digging deeper and with this knowledge virtually anything is possible....   [tags: Genetic Engineering ]

Research Papers
1806 words (5.2 pages)

Understanding Genetic Engineering Essay

- What if cancer could be cured by eating a pear. Or if a crop of wheat could be developed so that it never rotted. These may sound like science fiction but they're not as strange as they first seem to be, and may even be reality in the future. Fifteen years ago who would have thought that plants could be created to be immune to pesticides or that it would be possible to create a sheep that is exactly like its parent in every physical way. And yet both of these currently exist due to genetic engineering....   [tags: Genetic Engineering ]

Research Papers
1820 words (5.2 pages)

Sakiko Fukda Parr of the United Nations Developmental Program said “if biotechnologists really want to feed the poor then they need to create virus-resistant, drought-resistant, nutrient-enhanced versions of such staple crops as millet, sorghum, and cassava” (Leahy 50). If genetic engineering where to solve world hunger they would not have grown conola, corn and soy, crops that are poor in nutrient, easily spoiled and can cause new diseases to emerge if not correctly genetically altered.
With the increase in diabetics around the world many biotech factories are taking the opportunity to make money. The first genetically engineered product pharmaceutically is “human-derived” insulin. The insulin was first approved in Canada in 1983, and quickly replaced the insulin that was made from the pancreas of cows and pigs. The insulin did not come back with a positive feedback but caused biotech’s first human deaths. Colleen Fuller, Vancouver health policy expert and spokesperson for the Diabetic Rights said “Hundreds of Canadian diabetics have reported reactions to genetically engineered insulin.” Canada was not the only one affected with casualties but also in the U.S, Britain and other countries. Fuller also said that when diabetics take the animal insulin problems cleared back up (Leahy 51). With the financial success of the GE insulin they released another product GE erythropoietin (EPO), which is an antianemia drug made by placing a human gene in the ovarian of a Chinese hamsters (Leahy 51-52). Even though the biotech pharmaceutical drugs caused deaths and health problems the biotech companies still release products to make more money. The health of the people apparently does not matter.
Genetic Engineering is supposed to be able to cure diseases, but instead people who under go gene therapy die. Dr. Nancy Olivieri, head of the thalassemia and sickle cell anemia research programs at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children said, “Currently 99 percent of genomic research is about making money, not curing people.” An 18 year old boy, Jesse Gelsinger, died while undergoing gene therapy at the University of Pennsylvania. Another man James Dent also died while undergoing gene therapy for a brain tumor. More than 691 people who had gene therapy in the United States hundreds of people reported adverse reactions (Leahy 53). Genetic engineering is supposed to cure diseases but instead why is it doing the opposite of what its supporters are saying. The trials of gene therapy that were completed more then 90 percent had some form of adverse reactions from mild to severe and worst of all many have died from gene therapy.
Genetic engineering can enhance the human life physically and intellectually but with this advancement the gap between equality will widen. The people who have the money will get the genetic enhancement but the people that cannot afford the genetic enhancement will be left hanging. This will create the ultimate fight for the people who are normal to gain employment, and social status (Mehlman 60). If someone was to hire a person who can persevere would they choose someone who is genetically altered to persevere or someone who can just do their best? The answer is clear, someone who is altered to persevere. This could be the fuel to trigger a World War III between the rich and poor.
Many Americans do not know if they are eating genetically engineered food because it’s not labeled. What are the companies afraid of? Is the food safe enough to eat? Well many supporters as well as the government might tell you its safe and beneficial. According to Dr. Arphad Pusztai, he states that one of the adverse reactions of genetically engineered food is allergies and anaphylaxis (severe hypersensitivity) (Pusztai). As someone who has experienced and medical knowledge as a nurse I know how bad anaphylaxis can be. That person can have their air-way cut off and not able to breathe but the worst case scenario is that the person could die.
Return to