Genetics In Life

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Genetics In Life Genetics is the study of the patterns of inheritance of specific traits (Poretto). This knowledge could be used to alter the course of a future human life. This knowledge could even be used to stop a potentially painful life before it starts. Genetic engineering, like any other science, is a tool. Like any other tool Genetic Engineering is neither inherently positive nor inherently negative. Genetic engineering’s benefits outweigh the potential negatives, and in spite of some people fearing that it is immoral; genetics needs to be continually developed. The first step in eliminating superstition about a topic is to understand that topic. The origins of genetic history lay in the ancient techniques of selective breeding to yield desired characteristics in offspring. This is a form of genetic manipulation by "employing appropriate selection for physical and behavioral traits" (Gert 2). The work of an Austrian monk by the name of Gregor Mendel established the quantitative discipline of genetics using garden peas. Mendel's work explained the inheritance of traits can be stated by factors passed from one generation to the next; in other words, “genes”. The complete set of genes for an organism is called its genome (Congress 3). Traits are inherited through single or multiple genes. The development of these traits can be explained by environment variables (Congress 3). Mendel also correctly surmised that two copies of every factor exist and that one factor of inheritance could be dominant over another (Murphy). The next major step in genetics was deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA. DNA, as a part of genes, was discovered to be a double helix that encodes the blueprints for all living things (Congress 3). DNA is made of nucleotide chains made of four bases. Any ordered pair of bases makes a sequence. These sequences are the instructions that produce molecules and proteins for cellular structure and biochemical functions. DNA is packed into chromosomes, of which 23 pairs exist in each cell of the human body. One chromosome of each pair is donated from each parent. Any location on a chromosome where inheritance can be identified and tracked is a marker (Murphy). Markers can be expressed areas of genes (DNA) or some segment of DNA with no known coding function but an inheritance can still be traced (Murphy). Genetic mapping requires the use ... ... middle of paper ... .... Genetic research is the present and future of medical science. Fear should not be allowed to stop the development of genetic research. Works Cited Bibliography Congress of the United States. Office of Technology Assessment. Mapping Our Genes: Genome Projects, How Big, How Fast?. Johns Hopkins UP: Baltimore, 1988. d’Usseaux, Francesca Brunetta. “Wrongful life and wrongful birth cases: a comparative approach.” N.D. 28, Sept. 2002 . Feinman, Michael. “Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis - PGD.” April 2000. 24 Sept. 2002 . Gert, Bernard. Morality and the New Genetics: A Guide for Students and Health Care Providers. Sudbury: Jones and Bartlett P, 1996. Kassirer J. P., Rosenthal N. A. “Should Human Cloning Research Be Off Limits?” N Engl J Med 338:905-906 (1998). 15 Oct. 2002 Lee, Thomas F. The Human Genome Project: Cracking the Genetic Code of Life. New York: Plenum P, 1991. Murphy, Timothy F, and Marc Lappe. Justice and the Human Genome Project. Berkeley: U of California P, 1994. Porretto, Denise. “Genetics and Your Baby” N.D. 1, Sept. 2002 Sowers, Leslie. “Genetic Testing Can Hold Keys To Your Health” 4 Sept. 1997. 1 Oct. 2002 .
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