The Pros And Cons Of Genetic Engineering

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ADBT Chris Bernard, GOO A 10-02-2014 CVE Essay Assignment How to live twice as long Would it not be great if humans could live their lives with less diseases, more effective antibiotics and an overall increased quality of life? For this scientists have spent years and years trying to learn more about human DNA, the molecules that contain all inherited genetic information of an organism. Gregor Mendel, who is considered the founder of genetic studies, started his genetics research on garden peas as early as 1856. Nowadays, in 2014, scientists are still conducting experiments in genetic engineering. The principle is quite easy: by taking genes from an organism and adding it to another organism you can manipulate certain traits of that organism to your desire. Rather than using conventional medicine with which todays illnesses are treated, genetically manipulating human DNA can lead to better results in healthcare and hence healthier people. So genetic engineering can greatly improve quality of life for humans. The first major advantage of genetic engineering on humans is that it can be used to completely cure genetic diseases with a method called gene therapy. When a person has a hereditary disease such as sickle-cell anemia (malformed red blood cells) their lifespan is severely shortened because of the aggressive symptoms. In this case the symptoms include for example increased infection susceptibility, chronic pain throughout the body and highly decreased bloodflow in most blood vessels. During gene therapy the genetically affected (and thus incorrectly functioning) gene is replaced by a healthy gene to decrease or completely cure the particular disease. When the treatment goes well, the newly installed healthy gene starts... ... middle of paper ... ...ually already being used since 1994, when a tomato plant was modified so that it would rot slower than before. Because of the possibility to enhance crops, a future food scarcity can be prevented, so this also adds to the advantages of genetic engineering. In conclusion, we can see that the phenomenon of genetic engineering is definitely offering a better chance of survival of the human race, and is a great improvement of quality of life. The ability to permanently cure illnesses is a great prospect for mankind. Absence of life-threatening diseases, increased efficiency of medicine and improved agriculture lead to an increased life span of human beings and a healthier way of living. Techniques such as gene therapy are not yet fully developed, in the near future however, it is impossible to think that humans had ever lived without the luxury of genetic engineering.
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