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Genetic engineering can be used to solve many problems in the world, but some people feel that the dangers out weigh the advantages. Discuss the use to genetic engineering today and the moral, ethical and economic implications of the technique.

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Introduction

Genetic engineering can be used to solve many problems in the world, but some people feel that the dangers out weigh the advantages. Discuss the use to genetic engineering today and the moral, ethical and economic implications of the technique. There has been a lot of press coverage about the recent advances in gene technology. This new technology can be used in a variety of ways, from curing genetic diseases to keeping our tomatoes red. All genetic modification involves isolating a specific gene and modifying or replacing it, so to make it work differently. Gene Therapy can, in theory be used to cure genetic diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis. In Cystic Fibrosis the faulty gene is the one that produces the CFTR protein. Gene therapy can take a 'normal' gene, insert it into the cells surrounding the lungs and hopefully these cells will adopt the new gene and start using that to produce the protein, instead of using the faulty one. ...read more.

Middle

Food can be genetically modified to either increase the amount or quality of the crop. There has been much controversy over the safety of genetically modified food. Some people believe that it my either be harmful to eat, or that it may harm the environment. Food can now be transported hundreds of miles and still end up on the supermarket shelf looking as fresh as if it was picked that day. People like to know what they are eating, and with swapping genes they believe that they don't know what is in their food, it is unnatural to play with the genes and that the scientists do not know what may be produced by mixing genes. However the scientists say that eating genetically modified food cannot harm you and that everything has been extensively tested. Plants have been modified from hundreds of years through selective breeding, modern technology has just speeded up the process. There is concern for organic farms and that GM pollen could infect them, but then organic farms are also under-threat from herbicides and pesticides. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is also ethical implications of GM. Some believe that it is 'playing God', but... "Human discovery and invention can be thought of as resulting from the exercise of God-given powers of mind and reason." (Church of England Board) Who's the person to decide where to draw the line? Where should GM stop? If it is okay to GM animals - then why not continue onto humans? Animal organ transplants puts humans as been superior to animals, and some people say rightly so. Who has the right to treatment, only the rich people? Overall these advances in technology have the ability to improve many people's lives. But it has to be used with caution as it could easily become out-of-control. Many of the techniques need refining and more research done on them. Also the general public need to be given more information on the subject so that they have the ability to make informed choices when it comes to taking treatment or simply deciding what to eat. ...read more.

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