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The genetic alteration is the direct human manipulation of the genome of an organism using modern DNA technology also known as Recombinant DNA technology. It involves the introduction of a foreign gene possessing required characteristics the organism of interest. Use of this technology facilitates the duplication of DNA strands for industrial and research purposes whereby it has led a revolution in molecular biology. Benefits of genetic engineering have led to a whole array of fields in agriculture and production of vaccine and valuable proteins. Although there are benefits, manipulation of genes has adverse effects that hence we should try to avoid uses of this technology.
Socio-ethics of genetic engineering
New technologies for manipulating the genetic makeup of organism have raised serious questions about the social desirability of controlling genes and the moral right of humans to redesign living beings. Scientists started using genetic engineering on plants, animals, and humans by the early 1990s whereby the US government approved the first genetically modified food that biotechnologists inserted a gene in a rotting tomato. They also started using transgenic animals in laboratories that saw the success of genetic modification on human where doctors used gene therapy in the treatment of two girls suffering from an immunodeficiency disorder. The development of new technology and its suddenness in scientific manipulation led people to start worrying about the social and ethical implication of genetic modification. Serious concerns resulted over genetic manipulation of human beings, but some detractors also pointed out that these problems with recombinant DNA were in animals and plants (Dickenson, 2012).
Engineering of plants and animals
The Harris Poll survey carried out in the US for US Office of Technology in 1968 showed that a major section of Americans were not against the use of recombinant DNA technology to come up with hybrid agricultural plants. However, critics such as Jeremy Rifkin have noted that ready acceptance of the use of plants produced by use of biotechnology is shortsighted and question the intervening of the nature of ecological balance (Rifkin, 1998). Their stand on the use of biotechnology is that they argue that manipulating the genome of plants has led to thereductionin the diversity of the plant life which makes them less resistant to diseases. It can lead to transmission of diseases from one plant species to another as genes of one plant is implanted from one plant to another. They also argue that unforeseen health effects could result from the new varieties of food plants.
Genetic engineering relies too much on highly technical procedures therefore nations that control this technology have significant powers over the food supply. They can just fill the market with genetically modified foods since they have corporate powers over the consumers. In animals, there we have witnessed vulnerability to diseases, loss of biodiversity, and business control over livestock are subjects that are making headlines about genetic manipulation. The importance of moral issues have become relevant to opponents are reviewing such matters. Religion has also come out to oppose biotechnology since beliefs hold that the order of the world has divineordination.Religious leaders are against laboratory experiments of injecting human genes into animals that they view as sacrilege. The Swiss government in 2008 created a boundary between permissible and impermissible use of technology in plants as it was interfering with dignity.
Engineering in humans
When it comes to human beings, this is where there are significant ethical and social problems with the use of recombinant DNA technology. Scientists that use this technology argue that it’s a major step to overcoming human misery while critics focus on three major ethical issues. They argue that it could lead to ownership of life whereby transferred genes to other human beings means participants do not own those genes but to the researcher who introduced them. Another problem also results to eugenics that is the practice of trying to improve human traits through direct manipulation. Critics are against such a practice because it poses the risk of becoming a highly discrimination type of technology since they use it incommon fertility clinics. Thirdly, the dependence on human life to organic objects leads life being partially owned.Some ethicists claim that human life will no longer be treated with proper dignity since researchers can easily manipulate human life in a laboratory. Hence, this practice will critically undermine the philosophical foundation of human rights.
Impact and application
The use of recombinant technology has led to several activists opposing these practices of modifying the genome of an organism whereby they have asked the government to stop funding such programs. There has been a case in the US whereby 37 individuals died, and 1500 other permanently disable after consuming a poisonous substance found in genetically modified food. The disease described as eosinophil myalgia syndrome that appeared in this food supplement. Such are just few examples of cases that happen that tell us that we should stop the use biotechnology in the production of food.
In conclusion, we should do as much as possible to reduce dependence on genetically modified organism since they pose a health risk to us and the environment. It also affects the religious beliefs in a way that we believe that the order of the Earth has a divine ordination from God. So, using engineering opposes the religion that most of us believe.
Dickenson, D. (2012). Bioethics. London: Hodder Education.
Rifkin, J. (1998). The biotech century. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam.
Carolyn Morgan is the author of this paper. A senior editor at Melda Research in nursing writing services if you need a similar paper you can place your order for a custom research paper from medicine essay writing.
Author is associated with MeldaResearch.Com which is a global Custom Essay Writing and Term Paper Writing Company. If you would like help in Research Papers and Term Paper Help you can visit Custom Writing Service
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