Genetic Engineering

Essay by sumeetbanker April 2006

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Anti-technologists and political extremists misinform, and over exaggerate statements that genetic engineering is not part of the natural order of things. The moral question of genetic engineering can be answered by studying human evolution and the idea of survival of the fittest. The question of safety can be answered by looking at the current precautions of the industry. The concept that society needs to understand is that with the right amount of time and money genetic engineering will help reduce disease and save countless lives.

Many people do not realize that genetic engineering plays a role in many lives through out the world. Genetic engineering includes artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, sperm banks, cloning, and gene manipulation (Goetz 178). Synthetic insulin is now available for use to treat diabetes. This man-made insulin has many positive aspects, which include its life span, cost to manufacture it, and the amount that is available.

The synthetic insulin lasts two to three times longer than its natural form and costs substantially less to manufacture than to extract it from an animal, primarily pigs. One other benefit is the amount that can be manufactured. In pigs, the scientists need to wait for it to mature to extract the insulin. The synthetic source is completely man-made and any amount can be manufactured in large quantities.

The replication of insulin is not the only way biotechnology is being utilized. Today people receive synthetic hormones that their body cannot produce such as growth hormones, thyroid, estrogen, and testosterone. Vaccines are also another form of genetic engineering that has been used for many years. Vaccines already protect against disease to a certain extent, but for a virus like HIV, it is too risky to inject somebody with a vaccine. The reason for this is because a vaccine is a...