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    Human Genome Project 2 Essay (708 words)

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    It all started back in 1953 with two men named James D. Watson and Francis Crick when they discovered the double-helical structure of DNA. Little did they know that they were opening the door to the creation of a perfect world. In 1986, the Human Genome Project, led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), took a giant leap through this door.

    They began the long process of mapping out the entire genetic makeup of the human body. The main purpose of the HGP was originally for the use of preventing inherent diseases. However, as studies continue to progress, increased opportunities arise for genetically altering the unborn. You are now able to choose the sex of your child before they are born with great accuracy. What is on the horizon now is the possibility of designing your child to be ‘perfect’.

    Over the years, there has been heated ethical controversy on each of these issues, especially designer babies. How far will we let biotechnological discovery take us? What will come of the world if designer babies become standard procedure? The earliest and maybe simplest use of genetic manipulation was in the selection of the sex of an unborn child. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a procedure in which a woman’s eggs are removed from her body, fertilized outside using sperm from her husband or another donor, and then transferred back to her body. IVF was originally limited to couples that were infertile. Even the use of IVF for the infertile was unheard of at one point. But growing demand makes it socially acceptable, and now anybody who’s infertile demands IVF,” says Lee Silver, a Princeton University biologist.

    Several years ago, fertility clinics announced the new possibility of sex selection. It was an exciting breakthrough, but when these clinics were inquired about their results, they only had about a 50 percent success rate. Its affluent clients could have achieved exactly the same outcome by leaving a note for the tooth fairy, requesting a girl or a boy,” (Riddell). In the same way, many were opposed to the idea at first, especially with the results they were getting, but over time the procedures have been almost perfected and it has become socially acceptable (Lemonick). Many issues have arisen from the possibilities sex selection will provide. In cultures where males are valued more than girls, such as China and India, assured sex selection could really throw off an already out of balance society.

    In the United States, it may not be as likely for there to be a favored sex, generally speaking. In our case, it is more of a weighted opinion on what order you should have your kids and what sex should come first. Statistics show that the ideal family has a male as the firstborn. Males tend to be more assertive and dominant than females, as do firstborns. If you put all this together, it seems as though we are headed towards an even more male-dominated world. This is obviously a huge issue not only for feminist and gender-role stereotypes but also for the general idea of a balance of nature.

    Will females eventually fade out of existence? That is obviously far-fetched, but definitely not impossible. (Lemonick) At this point, the majority still agrees that the provisions of genetic engineering should be limited to the correction of inherent diseases. There are two primary ways that genetics can be used to treat diseases. The first is gene therapy, in which one or more genes are injected into the patient to replace those that are absent or not working properly.

    This approach has been used to treat a broad range of disorders such as heart disease, many forms of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, AIDS, and many more. The second way to employ genes to treat diseases is known as small-molecule therapy. In this approach, the patient is given a small molecule (drug) to modify the function of one or more genes in the body. When the pioneers of gene therapy first requested government approval for their experiments in 1987, they vowed they would never alter the patients’ germline (eggs or sperm). (Begley)

    French Anderson, who had a broad background in the study of gene therapy, mainly from the University of Southern California, did a lot of work with gene therapy. He had a desire to use gene therapy to cure a fetus of an inherited disease even before it was born. The only problem was the potential of the introduced genes slipping into the patient’s egg or sperm cells, thus carrying those changes onto the patient’s children.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    Human Genome Project 2 Essay (708 words). (2019, Jan 30). Retrieved from

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