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

The Ethics of Genetic Engineering

Extracts from this document...


Genetic Engineering - A good thing or not? Genetic engineering is the artificial modification of the genetic code within a living organism. Genetic engineering allows for physical changes in the subject beyond what would be considered 'naturally' occurring. Genetic engineering occurs usually when genes are taken from one organism and inserted into another. Some of the resulting effects become known, but most stay hidden, manifesting as long term mental effects usually. The known effects are usually short term - physical and noticeable. Ones first insight into genetic engineering may be that it is a solution to all of society's ills and the world's problems. People could fashion themselves a perfect child - a perfect world could exist, theoretically. The truth is far from that concept as we are still today not sure of the many side effects genetic engineering may cause. Genetic engineering has been an incredibly controversial issue since 1997, when Dr Ian Wilmut first revealed his cloned sheep - Dolly. Dolly shared the exact genetic makeup of her mother, and looked exactly as her. However, this success was in some ways regarded as a failure; dolly was the only success of 245 attempts. ...read more.


The opposition claims that pushing these crops into the developing world will enrich companies at farmers' expense and won't really address the poverty and inequality that are the real roots of world hunger. Supporters however, say that, GM crops offer the world's best chance to end hunger and malnutrition around the world. One example is "golden rice," genetically engineered to provide extra vitamin A and therefore prevent a form of blindness, caused by a deficiency of vitamin A, - a widespread problem in developing countries.2 Although we are not still not aware of most of the possible devastations that genetic engineering could cause, farmers and scientists have noticed that cows which have genetically modified hormones to produce more milk, live shorter lives and suffer high rates of lameness and reproductive health problems. Cloned and genetically engineered animals have staggering failure rates, at 99% mortality.3 One of the biggest advantages of genetically engineered bacteria is that they can make exactly the protein needed, in exactly the amounts needed and in a very pure form. An example could be people with diabetes. ...read more.


By genetically modifying farm animals in Britain, we gain a better understanding of disease processes and mechanisms of resistance in livestock such as chickens and for example we can genetically modify animals' milk to produce anti-trypsin which can be used to treat hereditary emphysema and cystic fibrosis.5 There is a spectrum of opinion regarding human interests over animal interests. One side is that human interests do not outweigh animal interests and one is that they do. The latter view is that it is wrong to conduct experiments on humans, when we have a wide variety of animals to test on. The former view is that animals could have consciences and subjecting them to experiments may be morally demeaning. Genetic engineering could potentially one day, be the solution to every feasible problem we have in today's society. Some people will probably see this genetically modified "future" as an impossible thought, if humans continue to stay true to the ethics of GE standard we have today. As of now, we still cannot tell whether GE will be welcomed in the future, considering the many objections we still have today. http://www.echeat.com/essay.php?t=27203 - 1 http://www.enotes.com/ethics-genetic-article - 2 http://www.safeage.org/animalw.htm - 3 http://www.safeage.org/enviroimpact.htm - 4 http://www.boyd-group.demon.co.uk/genmod.htm - 5 ?? ?? ?? ?? Mehdi Missous 10RN ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Variation and Inheritance 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 GCSE Variation and Inheritance essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Research in Genetic Engineering Should Be Halted. Discuss

    3 star(s)

    Where does a responsible society draw a line?" (Vorspan 286) Clearly, one can see that there are many moral issues involved in a simple procedure of genetic screening. Wouldn't this procedure, in the long run, lead parent to construct whatever genetic makeup they want the child to have?

  2. Food Policy at a Crossroads, A World of Plenty or a World of Famine ...

    Also, rice with a higher level of bio-available iron is in process of development. Thus, proponents of agro-biotechnology essentially see the benefits occurring in waves or phases with benefits initially to producers and then to consumers. As Dr. Liz Dennis points out, "the results of the first wave of research

  1. Genetic Engineering, Friend or Foe?

    * Agriculture is already too technological. This will only make it worse. * They're better ways to improve resistance and reduce chemicals on the land. Do we have a real say in what's going on? * Labelling measures are inadequate, and unjust towards those who object.

  2. What is population genetics and how is it put to practical use?

    Because the mutation rate is so low, it is usually a weak force for changing allele frequencies alone. The other two sources of genetic variation play an important part in creating the variation seen today. Recombination and migration can also be seen as mutations, but on a much larger scale (entire genes are changed/mutated from one allele to another).

  1. Religion and Medical Ethics.

    Roman Catholics are against all the treatments for infertile couples because it is not natural since sexual intercourse is not involved. They believe that life is a gift from God and so only God has the right to decide who this gift will be given to.

  2. Ethics in the world of Genetic Engineering

    Several government bodies have been set up to assess and regulate GM foods including ACNFP, COT, FAC and, the most important, The Department of Environment. The DOE requires tat anyone proposing a release must apply to them for consent first.

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