The Pros and Cons of Genetic Engineering

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The Pros and Cons of Genetic Engineering

The purpose of this coursework is to discuss the pro's and con's of

genetic engineering. I have chosen to present my work by discussing

the religious arguments in favour and against genetic engineering,

designer babies, should parents have the right to choose their child's

looks, sex and intelligence levels. I shall also be looking at the

moral and ethical issues surrounding genetic engineering.


What is Genetic Engineering?

The principle of genetic technology relies on isolating a gene from

one organism (donor) and putting it into another (the recipient) of a

different species,this principle can be applied to plants, animals,

mammals etc

But why should you want to do this in the first place?

Genetic Engineering is quite a new science which is a rapidly

expanding and developing technology, it has the potential for many

useful developments in the fields of medicine, agriculture, industry

and conservation, however balanced with this it has the potential to

produce catastrophic problems. Another term that is associated with

genetic engineering is cloning, this means using genetic engineering

techniques to produce genetically identical organisms.

Up until now genetic engineering and cloning has been used to clone

plants, unicellular organisms, amphibians and simple mammals. This has

led to significant advances in agriculture, industry, and medicine.

Newer techniques in genetic engineering have enabled scientists to

clone more complex mammals and opened up the possibility of cloning

humans. Although there are many potential benefits to this technology,

the prospect of cloning humans has raised many practical, ethical and

religious dilemmas that are currently being debated by society.

The purposes of doing genetic engineering are many and various.

Ranges of them are listed below.

To repair a genetic "defect" (as with the current early trials of gene

therapy in humans), to enhance an effect already natural to that

organism (e.g. to increase its growth rate), to increase resistance to

disease or external damage (e.g. crops - blight, cold or drought),

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