Genetic Engineering

Essay by danger1665College, UndergraduateA, April 2004

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Genetic Engineering

In today's world, people are learning a great deal in the rapidly growing fields of science and technology. Almost every day, you see or hear about a new discovery or advance in these fields of study. One very common and controversial topic in the news and social talk of many people recently is what us, as human beings, will be able to do through the development of genetic engineering. Many people are wondering if the manipulation of human cells is morally wrong to the laws of nature or religion, especially in childbirth. "Genetic testing and gene therapy are at the forefront of medicine's future, according to experts in the field" (D'Allegro).

There are many reasons why scientists want to learn more on the genetic make-up of humans. Currently, there is a federally funded effort known as the Human Genome Project, whose goal is to decode the entire human genetic map.

Once this is completed scientist will be able to test for disorders and possible cures. Some of the main disorders the geneticists hope to cure are diabetes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and muscular dystrophy. By doing this research, they also hope to discover vaccines and other cures for diseases.

One main type of genetic research in humans is the ability to clone. Scientists first used this procedure to clone body parts for people. Scientists took the patient's own genetic make-up and grew a part that he or she may need that would not be rejected by his or her own body. The next step the scientists have taken is in the area is eugenics, which means, "good breeding." This technique is defined as, "the science of improving the physical and mental qualities of human beings through genetics and cloning." (Ramsay). Scottish geneticists first demonstrated this practice in 1997 with a...