A girl is born without Tay-Sachs disease, a devasting genetic disorder that hasdecimated a lot of babies worldwide. A leukemia patient has defective bonemarrow replaced with healthy bone marrow that was cloned from tissue from herown cells. These futuristic scenarios are not part of the debate for geneticengineering but they should be. Many people are afraid that somebody will cloneHitler or some evil person, but that is far from the fact.
Genetic engineeringcan be used to make many aspects of human life better, including saving lives. The rapid development of humanitys ability to control the gene willeventually lead to a promising future for the entire planet as a whole. Geneticengineering resulted not from the belief that nature should be manipulated andperfected by humanity. Rather, its principle aim is, as of any other technology,to improve the quality of life for the people of this planet. Therefore, it isnecessary to weigh the benefits and consequences of this relatively recentbreakthrough and determine in which ways it can be used to humanitys bestadvantage.Order now
This speech will investigate the ways in which genetic engineeringaffects two important areas in todays society. The first one will be theimprovement of the worlds agricultural techniques. With an ever-increasinggrowth in world population, the Earths resources are constantly becomingscarce. The advent of genetic engineering may be used to avert the occurrence ofworldwide famine and starvation.
The second one investigated will be in thefield of medical development and study. Currently, genetic diseases aredecimating the worlds population. Thousands of people have already diedwithout a single worthy treatment or cure. Worldwide acceptance and support ofthis technology would aid in our battle against these diseases. According to theUnited Nations medium projections issued in 1990 (Population Council, 1994), theglobal population will be increasing from 5. 3 billion in 1990 to 8.
5 billion inthe year 2025. Consequently, there will be a much greater need for food,therefore accelerating further the consumption of Earths resources. Toachieve this, it would be necessary to extensively use agricultural technology. However our current use of pesticides and other chemical fertilizers pose aserious evironmental threat. Using genetic engineering would ultimately reducethe amount of potentially dangerous chemical substances we introduce into theenvironment. It would as well make food production more efficient thereforereducing distribution costs.
Thanks to genetic engineering, Geneticists arecurrently able to create a resistant strain of the ordinary supermarket tomato(Pen*censored*, 1992). Using a technique called antisense genetics, the genethat is responsible for allowing tomatoes to soften and ripen can be transformedto produce the opposite effect. The billions of tomatoes that circulating allaround the world can therefore be made to resist the normal abuse of shippingand transport, and also having a longer shelf life. This practice could beapplied to all other sorts of fruits and vegetables. This would allow for lessof a waste of food therefore, putting less of a strain on human resources. Diseases and genetic defects have always been a major cause of concern for oursociety.
Antibiotics, which used to be successful against pathogens, are nowstarting to become useless since the viruses have become resistant to themedications administered. Therefore a proposed alternative is the use of geneticengineering or more specifically, gene therapy, to cure diseases at the DNAlevel. This method is known as biotechnology and can aid in the treatment ofdiseases like a hormone defiency. Currently, a common diagnostic practice withunborn fetuses is the process of genetic screening. A needle is inserted intothe uterus of the pregnant woman and is used to extract some amniotic fluid. Asa result, several hundred diseases and defects can be diagnosed before birth(Office of Technology, 1990).
Therefore parents can choose to have an abortionif they do not want their child to have a defect. For over two centuries,vaccination has changed very little from the time of Edward Jenner, the firstphysician to have ever tried the method on a human being (Yong Kang, 1989). Butthis process has now become obsolete because by killing the virus, it is morelikely to mutate into a more resistant strain for which is incurable. As aresult, every new strain would require a new vaccine costing more money andtime.
A new method of producing vaccines is currently being studied and involvesrecombining the DNA of the virus so that it will not be able to reproduce. Thiswould be as effective