Genetic Engineering In Humans

773 Words4 Pages
Although genetic engineering in humans is still at an early stage, many scientists hope that it can one day help eradicate disease. A common framework splits genetic intervention in humans into four types based on their purpose. Type 1, which refers to somatic gene therapy, involves the correction of genetic defects or the introduction of new cells into the body excluding reproductive or germ cells. A current proposed application of somatic gene therapy is the injection of genes into malignant cells in order to trigger an immune response that is specifically targeted towards a tumour. Gene therapy has already been used to treat many autoimmune and heart diseases with promising results. There are also numerous studies that suggest gene therapy…show more content…
Proponents of genetic engineering hope that doctors will one day be able to treat and repair such genetic defects before a baby is born. Unfortunately, the benefits of type 3 and type 4 genetic interventions are not as clear-cut. Type 3 and type 4 genetic interventions typically involve germ-line modifications to affect physical and mental characteristics of a subject. To that effect, type 3 and type 4 genetic modifications could be directed towards perfectly healthy humans. A concern raised by skeptics of genetic manipulation is the propagation of designer babies. Briefly, there is a fear that germ-line engineering can create a dystopian future in which the rich can essentially create super humans. Since these modifications would be passed on to future generations, many argue that tampering with the human gene pool is a violation of human rights. Such modifications can also increase wealth inequality as it allows the rich to create a generation of enhanced individuals who are heavily advantaged over others. Moreover, the ability to create super humans could be abused by governments who use genetic engineering for military purposes. Above all, many argue that genetic manipulation is inherently unethical and that humans do not have the right to tinker with…show more content…
One important consequence of climate change is decreased food security as severe warming and weather conditions can lead to reduced crop yield, increased dangers to livestock, and the potential for increased invasive species in fisheries. Proponents of genetic engineering argue that genetically modified organisms can help curve the effects of global warming and the environmental impacts of agriculture. Indeed, many crops such as corn, wheat and soybeans have been genetically engineered to withstand droughts and/or frost. Moreover, genetically modified foods are typically more resistant to pests which leads to decreased pesticide and herbicide usage. For example, a farming technique called conservation tillage, made possible by GMO's led to a 5.2-billion-pound reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in 2014; the equivalent of 10 million fewer cars on the road in a year. GMO's could also help reduce malnutrition in third world countries. Many people in third world countries are dependent on a single crop such as rice for their diet. In an ideal world, rice could be genetically engineered to contain more vitamins and essential minerals to alleviate nutritional deficiencies. The arguments against genetically modified crops are similar to that of genetic manipulation in humans. Many argue that it is unnatural to genetically modify plants and animals and that it
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