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Genetic Engineering for Future Medicine

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    Dr. Bernard D. Davis, professor of bacterial physiology at Harvard medical school in Cambridge, stated “that after twenty years of expanding experience with biotechnology with no detectable harm to humans or to the environment, this concern has turned into a good idea” qtd.

    In Bender and Leon 23. Genetic engineering is defined as the scientific alteration of the structure of genetic material in living organisms. Although under heavy scrutiny, genetic engineering will someday be used to cure genetic diseases, breed enhanced plants and animals, and produce low-cost medicines.Many diseases, including cancers, are caused by defective genes that scientists are unable to cure.

    Treatments that replace missing enzymes require repeated injections, and organ transplants have a high risk of rejection by the body’s immune system. With cancer causing 500,000 deaths in the United States each year alone, it is clear that new treatments are necessary. The introduction of a promising method is gene therapy-a type of treatment in which the doctor introduces a helpful gene into a patience’s cell to produce an essential protein that the patient lacks.For instance, the first gene-therapy trial was performed in September 1990 by a group of doctors on a four-year-old-girl who suffered from a rare form of cancer ¹.

    Using genetically modified cells for a period of time, these brave doctors gave a second chance of life to a terminally ill girl. The use of gene therapy is controversial. Some people are concerned that it may permanently alter the basic material of human beings if genes from other species are used, however, by doing so an opportunity arises to provide a spark of faith to a four-year-old girl.Just think, waking up to a bright sunny day, treating yourself to a flavorful omelet made with cholesterol free eggs, enjoying sausages with less 99% less fat, and a glass of milk with added calcium and vitamins all without losing an ounce of taste.

    If genetic engineering was to be used on the farm, this would become a reality. Although genetic engineering farm animals are insufficient and needs improvement, dairy cattle can be genetically modified to increase the content of the milk protein, thus producing healthier milk to drink and in larger quantities.Also high on this list is to make cows, sheep, goats, and pigs leaner and more resistant to illnesses. By providing health attention at a young stage, farmers can reduce the costs of vaccinations, hormones, and drugs dramatically.

    The most heavily attacked of the G. E. foods is the vegetable group. Criticized for interfering with nature dramatically, these fruits and vegetables are said to be unhealthy and unregulated by certain advocate groups.

    But here is a scenario, humans like to help humans, so wouldn’t it be morally wrong knowing that there are children starving in other countries and there is something you can do about it? “In 1998, the United States had about 55 million acres of genetically engineered corn, soybean, and cotton” 8:80. With this in mind, we know why this was one of the greatest surplus times in America ². The most important of the three main arguments is the gains related to genetically modified medicines and vaccines.Now, harmless bacteria have been genetically engineered with human genes to produce abundant quantities of various protein medicines such as insulin to control diabetes, growth factor, and hemoglobin to prevent anemia.

    In other words, people who have diabetes could lead a normal dietary life and be less watchful of blood pressure and sugar. To obtain higher quantity and lower production costs, certain bacteria have been genetically modified to increase the antibacterial-producing genes.By doing so, such medicine can reach more people to more places to provide a more stable life. Although with all of its benefits, G.

    E. is heavily rejected by organizations who find it scientifically and morally incorrect. Bernard Gert, professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy Ph. D.

    , Cornell University, stated that “God was the creator of earth and human existence and it shouldn’t be altered. ” qtd. In Bender and Leon 32. Under the name of science, biochemists are said to be altering something that is greater than science itself.

    Interrupting the regular procedure of plants and animals, concerns arise about “super bacteria,” which is bacteria that grows stronger because the weaker kind die off leaving a select few, and if not killed grow more resilient. For example, pesticide used on fruits and vegetables on farms get sprayed with insect repellent, if a few breeds of species survive the insecticide, they become more resistant. With this in mind, scientists are trying to genetically engineer special formulas that won’t allow superior bacteria to form.Another concern arises with people trying to alter a “God-given” condition in the name of science.

    What right as people do we have to interject the life process? By genetically altering the humans ability to catch a cold, this person is deprived of having the immune system work itself back to normal thus, interfering with the life cycle. A different way people try to intervene in the genetic modification is when medicine is introduced and taken by humans without an exact knowledge of its side-effects. Although this is a valid argument, all medicine is tested on lab animals and then introduced to people.Scientists’ effort to play the all-mighty role is most prevalent in their attempt to genetically alter and ultimately clone the perfect animals in order to provide more milk, and leaner meat to be consumed.

    This attempt to do so enables more criticism because the animal rights groups get involved and they bring about issues of safety and well-being of the animals. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals PETA launched a campaign to help put a stop on testing conducted unauthorized by certain groups of scientists.Even though it wasn’t done properly, all scientists have a moral obligation to do good and that is expressed at all times. Within the next quarter century, genetic engineering is said to be so effectively used that it will be able to catch up to the population growth and provide enough food for all 3rd world countries.

    Also, G. E. is on a solid pace in providing cancer patience with different therapies to increase the probability of recovery. With economic and moral support, further enhanced research, improvement on existing genetic engineering and a bright future, the potential for modifying genes is brighter than it has ever been.

    All in all, genetic engineering is clearly creating an entirely new and unprecedented uses of living things. This technology holds great potential to strengthen the health, food resources, and economies of all people. Although many hurdles still exist, it seems reasonable to suggest only creative ability and motivation limit the ground that can be covered. G.

    E. has a distinct beginning but no clear end. Cell by cell, tissue by tissue, organ by organ, we might soon be able to provide all necessary entities for the needy that being grains of rice in Africa, or a liver in the United States.

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