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

The Moral, Ethical and Legal issues surrounding Genetic Engineering.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Moral, Ethical and Legal issues surrounding Genetic Engineering Fatimah Jilani Genetic Engineering Genetic Engineering refers to the methods and results related with the alteration of the genetic or hereditary material carried by genes of an organism. These genes contain all the information, which needed to facilitate cells to replicate themselves. An example of genetic engineering is The Human Genome Project. This project, before 2005, will have mapped out the entire human genetic blueprint known as the genome. Its aim is to treat genetic disorders, such as Down's Syndrome, Cystic Fibrosis, etc. Research on the human genome can be done on aborted foetuses. Important areas of genetic research include genetic modification of crops (modification of plants and animals); Somatic-cell therapy (human genetic engineering); Germ-line therapy and Cloning. One of the main objectives of genetic research is to remove actual abnormalities present in human genes in order to get rid of serious and/or life-threatening handicaps. Genetic engineering techniques' include: * Selective breeding of plants/animals: - In selective breeding, only those plants or animals with desirable characteristics are selected for further breeding. ...read more.

Middle

Alongside all these advantages, there are great downfalls to genetic engineering. One of the common arguments against genetic engineering and in particular gene splicing. When Recombination DNA was introduced, there was a possibility and still is that genetically altered bacteria may escape from the laboratories and multiply causing erratic results. Public reaction to the use of recombinant DNA in genetic engineering has been mixed. The production of medicines using genetic engineering has generally been welcomed. However, critics of recombinant DNA fear that disease-producing organisms used in some experiments might develop extremely infectious forms that could cause worldwide problems. Environmentalists are concerned that the transgenic plants may interbreed with weeds, producing weeds with unwanted characteristics. They also argue that, due to natural selection, insects quickly develop resistance to plants that have been engineered to incorporate biological pesticides. Animal rights groups have argued that the production of transgenic animals is harmful to animals. For example genetically engineered fish raise problems because of the aptitude of fish to swim away from their place of source. Some experts fear that this may change the characteristics of wild fish in unpredictable ways (Guardian unlimited). ...read more.

Conclusion

This could cause a lot of emotional damage. Some argue that all human genetic engineering is 'tampering with nature.' Others say genetic engineering is a breach of the belief of 'letting nature take its course.' Genetic engineering is used for various aspects of our life such as increasing plant/animal food production; diagnosing diseases, improving our medical treatment; producing vaccines and useful drugs; and to help dispose of industrial wastes. There are great advantages to genetic engineering when used sensibly. Having said that there are possibilities that genetic engineering may be used for unnecessary purposes, which I strongly object to. For example, genetic engineering provides the ability to create an 'improved' human being with characteristics determined in accordance with a scientist's particular preconceived notion. This could lead to the categorization of people, those that have desirable characteristics and those that have inferior ones. This could cause a lot of needless emotional damage. This is just one example of circumstances that could occur when using genetic engineering inappropriately. I feel that in one sense that nature should take its natural course however I do believe that genetic engineering could be used to improve our quality of life i.e. in terms of health. ...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)

    She balanced out her sleep, eating and exercise patterns, because these were 3 of the main areas she never looked after properly. There are many things that Lauren did on a daily basis such as: - Made a routine to her day Lauren would do this because she felt that it helped to stabilize her mood swings.

  2. The Production of Vaccines using Genetic Engineering.

    While cancer cells are not foreign, they carry proteins that are different from those of normal cells. Cancer vaccines are aimed at stimulating an immune response against these tumour proteins. At present, vaccines aimed at prolonging the lives of people whose tumours have been surgically removed are being tested in early trials.

  1. 'Discuss the moral and ethical issues surrounding Recombinant DNA and Gene technology'

    Some studies have indicated that Bt is less specific than first thought. This means that other insects are also being affected by the insecticide properties of the Bt corn or its parts, such as pollen. Some individuals will be resistant to the pesticide in the plant.

  2. The moral and ethical Issues of Recombinant DNA

    the world contributing towards mapping every human chromosome, identifying the precise location of every gene. With this tool, developing new gene therapy treatments will become a far easier task. Recombinant DNA, despite all its wonders has many negative arguments. Over the past few years there have been a number of demonstrations about the growth of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

  1. Moral and Ethical Issues Surrounding Genetic Engineering

    For instance, in the case of G.M. foods the pro-science argument would be that G.M. foods could increase plants' resistance to pesticides and herbicides, thereby decreasing the need for these pollutant chemicals; allow plants to manufacture their own pesticides to ward off insects; increase the yields of many staple crops and thereby ward off starvation in many

  2. List areas of science that have raised ethical or moral issues

    An example of this process is the dolly the sheep; Dolly was created using somatic nuclear cell transfer. Scientific researchers transferred the genetic material from the nucleus of a donor adult to an egg with no nucleus (genetic material removed).

  1. Genetic Engineering.

    (Bill Indge et al 2000) The first mammal to be cloned was a sheep called Dolly who was made by a ewe and ram mating. She was an exact genetic replica of her donor a six year old female sheep.

  2. “The Moral, Ethical, Social and Legal Issues Surrounding Genetic Engineering”.

    Proponents of cloning argue that it is no more unnatural than binary fission, the process by which bacteria replicate to produce identical copies of themselves. In addition they state that cloning is no more unethical than growing a plant from a cutting or giving birth to identical twins.

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