• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Genetic Modification, should we be scared?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Michael Whittet 7/3/2012 Genetic Engineering: Should We Be Scared? June, 2010. The biggest scandal to hit European agriculture since the animal rights movement uncovered the shocking mistreatment of animals on some farms occurs. Millions of Euros worth of crops are discarded, but why? A large seed supplier mistakenly issues banned GM maize that is sown over 3000 hectares of land. The EU is forced to undertake a review into their stance on GM crops, though any decision would come too late to save the innocent farmers whose crops are lost that year. The question is then raised: Why were they banned in the first place? What are the consequences possible from the use of GM crops, the consequences of genetically modified animals and even more, of genetic modification of ourselves? Let?s take a step back. Genetic Engineering can be defined as alteration of the DNA of a cell for purposes of research, as a means of manufacturing animal proteins, correcting genetic defects, or making improvements to plants and animals bred by man. Despite the controversy, It seems clear to me that this technology is, at root, seeking to benefit us all in a broad variety of aspects, but what I want to know is: do the problems solved outweigh the problems created as a result? ...read more.

Middle

Last year trials began on mosquitos that have immune systems that block the malaria virus from being carried. Needless to say this could be a great tool in malaria prevention. A huge number of humans across the planet exist with rice as their main food, frequently their only source of nutrition. However it is missing certain pigments that we all need to consume to produce vitamin A. As a result a huge swathe of humanity suffers from vitamin A deficiency, which can directly cause blindness and exacerbates all sorts of infections including HIV. Vitamin A deficiency syndrome is simple enough to treat but still accounts for one quarter of global malnutrition-related deaths. Enter ?Golden Rice?, the genetically modified rice that produces the pigments necessary to provide vitamin A. It?s called ?Golden? because the pigment turns the plant a yellowy-brown. Quite an elegant solution to a child death problem that would otherwise rely on copious economic and charitable activity I think, as malnutrition is often caused not by a complete lack of food but a lack of the right types of food. But before we get carried away, there are a couple ugly considerations that need to be addressed. ...read more.

Conclusion

Should we allow treatment for red-green colour blindness? It would certainly help sufferers to operate in society that little bit more easily. So why not try to better ourselves as much as possible? We could remove the gene that restricts brain growth, or muscle production and save our society thousands of years in painstaking evolution. I think that to do so would be wrong. It is a luxury which is so great that perhaps we, as a society, should show restraint in this indulgence as its potency is sufficient in this specific respect to change us beyond all previous recognition. It seems clear to me, then, that though the dexterity of this new technology is hitherto unmatched, it is currently a force for good. The medical benefits for the treatment in serious diseases, unrivalled since a Hungarian physician, Ignaz Semmelweis, noticed that the washing of hands reduces infections though being unable to explain why precisely, is so useful that to ignore this would be a step backwards. The advantages to the poor of improved crops are also clearly definable and elegantly effective. However, I am reminded of Pandora?s Box: as we open the pantheon of genetics more and more we slowly expose ourselves eventually to a critical mass of morally objectionable choices, which, without careful moderation, could force us to redefine what our current humanity means to us. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Genetics, Evolution & Biodiversity section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Genetics, Evolution & Biodiversity essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    MENTAL HEALTH

    4 star(s)

    Some would only reduce symptoms and some would maintain full balance of mood and symptoms these were as follows: - She would always get a full eight hours of sleep - She would have 'me time' so she was able to relax and chill out - Write in her diary

  2. Marked by a teacher

    The daphnia lab report

    3 star(s)

    blood sugar levels drop causing fatigue. Humans can't be compared to daphnia due to there anatomy differences and more specifically their difference in the central nervous system. It should also be assumed that daphnia are small and the caffeine concentration that increased the daphnia heart rate to max will not increase the heart rate of the human.

  1. Gm foods and Gene therapy

    ethical cutting edge among the many pressures positioned on them, both out with and within. There could be a job for stimulating public understanding of their activities, and therefore rising their accountability to society. There is possibly to be rising pressure from commercial interests to decrease regulation to develop the economic prospects to their investments.

  2. Recombinant DNA, genetically engineered DNA prepared in vitro by cutting up DNA molecules and ...

    Richard Klausner, director of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., said that the new findings were highly significant and suggested new approaches to therapy for inherited breast cancer. The remaining 11 so-called non-essential amino acids are synthesized in the human body by a reaction called transamination.

  1. patterns of growth and development

    The way in which people act in their household can effect the child for example if there is always a lot of anger in the house the child is more likely to be angry. How the parents help the child deal with the emotions is also important, if they are

  2. Is Golden Rice the Solution to Vitamin A Deficiency in the developing world? The ...

    A simplified overview of the carotenoid biosynthesis pathway in golden rice. The development of Golden Rice Project is being moved forward at pace8. After the initial Golden Rice prototype 1999 and which accumulated around 1.6 �g/g of �-carotene in

  1. What moral issues are raised by the genetic modification, plants and micro-organisms

    can create high-yield crops that grow in less economically developed countries, then this is surely a good and generous act. Growing populations mean there are more mouths to feed. Currently, there are hundreds of thousands of people starving. Malnutrition and hunger cause untold human suffering.

  2. Genetic Modification

    In fact, as part of the ongoing collaborations with various Groups, antibodies to these new muscle specific proteins are being used to screen patients with neuromuscular pathologies, in particular, those of telethonin are being used to screen patients with LGMD of unknown origin to determine the incidence of LGMD type 2G.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work