The Cause and Effects of Gene Manipulation

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In a society where high status is based on appearances, people in that higher status must have designer clothes, designer cars and soon designer babies. This means, in the future, the privileged will be able to pick their child's eye color, hair color and I.Q. Even determining certain aspects of personality can be as simple, as a trip to the doctor's office. As unreal as this seems, this phenomenon, is coming in the not so distant future. Despite opposition, scientists are coming closer and closer to human gene manipulation. It should even be perfected in the next ten to fifteen years. In fact, gene manipulation for more simple organisms is already commonly practice.

Gene manipulation in modern society

Genetic manipulation was first introduced in agriculture. It is used to insure insect resistance and allows farmers to grow more crops in a shorter amount of time. Also, because of an increase in population, the use for genetic mutation has begun to grow. There are just too many insects and weeds to obtain a maximum amount of crops.

However, gene manipulation has a number of consequences. Food manipulation through genetic engineering can become a dangerous and even a toxic substance for the metabolism causing new allergens in foods that previously were naturally safe. For example, a manipulated bacteria used to produced large quantities of a dietary supplement, triptophane, caused 27 deaths and 1.500 disabilities in the United States (in 1992)

Methods of genetic manipulations

In 1973, scientist discovered that it is possible to combine genetic material into different organisms. By taking certain genes from one animal and putting them into another, you can produce an animal that has characteristics from both. For example, scientist took the gene that produces horns from a goat and injected it into a lamb. The lamb later began to grow horns. When you inject a gene from an animal that prevents certain human diseases into a human, the gene protects the human from getting the disease as well.

This method, however, does have its disadvantages. It is unpredictable whether the immune system will actually take the gene or that the gene will land in the right place. The gene could land randomly along the cells chromosome, causing it to work poorly or not at all. It might even land in the middle of another essential gene, crippling it or even killing if off.
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