Surpassing Unspoken Limits

By: Payton, Tara, Blaine, and Zach

Should there be Limits to Scientific Inquiry?

Scientific investigation has taken on many forms and explored a variety of theories throughout the years.


Whether these explorations involved an international hacking scandal or cloning a complete organism, it can simply be observed that technological and systematic advances have been growing at an exponential rate. In 1994, genetically modified food products made their first appearance in markets; a year later a human embryonic stem cell was isolated successfully. There are both detriments and benefits that accompany the powerful changes we are experiencing as a society in response to the knowledge, control, curiosity, and fear supplemented with current innovations. Many scientific advances including stem cell research, genetic modifications, hacking, and the creation of clones, hold potential to evolve into a discipline that intervenes with human morals. Conversely, by constraining these studies with limitations and regulations, we have confidence that these controversial fields will not travel beyond their boundaries.


In the example of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, foods that do contain contaminated ingredients are not directly publicized to the community. This falls on the shoulders of a the “powerful biotech lobby” and “even though polls consistently show that a significant majority of Americans want to know if the food they’re purchasing contains GMOs”, this information is not always accessible (Fagan 1). People’s initial hesitation combined with suppressed understandings is a prime example of the need for regulation to eliminate the presence unnecessary distress and panic in our society.


This discomfort is also apparent in the recent and quickly evolving progress behind computer hacking. Today’s hackers are dangerous and immensely more threatening than teenage nerds getting a free phone call in 1960. With society’s technology continuing to grow “one has to wonder what the future holds as we go more and more digital every day” (Pro 2).


Actions that we’ve come to accept as justifiable in “the name of science” are nearing a border that when crossed, would completely alter our perspective regarding existence and life.


Operations and activity that first seemingly appeared innocent in nature, and some even charitable, continued to expand and “fix” elements of society that arguably do not require mending. This is evident in arising investigations concerning stem cell research and cloning. In both of these studies, life is essentially being created or manipulated, in some circumstances, just for the sake of science. In the case with Dolly the sheep (first mammal cloned from somatic cell), lived half the expected lifespan of a sheep and developed complications from the cloning process. This tragic and poor quality of life was again not even questioned because of the assets it provided to the scientific community.


The complex science behind the various technological expansions cited above is up and rising and has the ability to expand farther than our universal human morals like to accept. By implementing separate systems that either require products to display its contents in their entirety, properly monitoring the distribution of computer data or records that could result in malicious behavior, or potentially establishing boundaries on what can and can’t be cloned, will bolster people. In doing so, individuals will be granted with feelings of assurance that essential steps are being taken in monitoring that particular science domains refrain from surpassing their unspoken limits.

Work Cited

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, Susan J. Wolfson, and Ronald Levao. The Annotated Frankenstein. Cambridge, MA: Belknap of Harvard UP, 2012. Print.


"Stem Cells." Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection. Detroit: Gale, 2015. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 4 Mar. 2016.


"Therapeutic Cloning: Stem Cell Research." Genetics and Genetic Engineering. Barbara Wexler. 2011 ed. Detroit: Gale, 2011. Information Plus Reference Series. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 4 Mar. 2016.


Fagan, John. "GMO Facts." GMO Awareness. GMO Awareness, 16 Sept. 2012. Web. 03 Mar. 2016. <http://gmoawareness.org/gmo-facts/>.


"What Is GMO?" The NonGMO Project RSS. Non GMO Project, 2016. Web. 03 Mar.

2016. <http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/what-is-gmo/>.


Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft. Horror Classics. Stamford, CT: Longmeadow, 1994. Print


"Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloning." OccupyTheory. OCCUPYTHEORY, 19 Apr. 2014. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.


"Cloning Fact Sheet." Cloning Fact Sheet. National Human Genome Research Institute, n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.


"Natural Cloning." Human Cloning. Human Cloning, n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.


"What Is Cloning, and What Does It Have to Do with Stem Cell Research?"EuroStemCell. Eurostemcell, n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.

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Unstable Without a Label : Tara

88% of corn, 90% of canola, and 95% of sugar beets in the United States are commercially marketed and farmed as genetically modified organisms. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are defined as organisms that have been “artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering” (“Non- GMO Project” 1). There are both advantages and detriments involved with their production, however, a leading controversial issue on the topic involves whether products that contain GMOs should label this information as part of the manufacturing process. Labeling is a necessary improvement that should be adopted in this industry to ensure that individuals have proper resources to know what they are consuming and freedom to choose what they utilize. The ideas behind genetically modified organisms hold the potential to evolve into a science that intervenes with human morals, but by establishing limits and reinforcing certain values (such as the suggested reform of labeling GMO products) will help control this discipline from going “too far”.


In businesses such as food production, introducing modifications accompanied by unknowns evokes emotions of curiosity, concern, and fear- especially when information on the alterations is kept private from the public. Generally speaking, GMOs are a relatively new invention that made its first appearance in markets in 1994. As quoted in Mary Shelley’s, Frankenstein, “nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change” (Shelley 195). GMO technology has had a substantial impact on how foods today are advertised. It is not uncommon to walk down the aisle of a grocery store and be able to point several monarch butterfly “non- GMO” stickers. However, what is not directly publicized to the community, on account of a the “powerful biotech lobby”, is foods that do contain genetically modified organisms, “even though polls consistently show that a significant majority of Americans want to know if the food they’re purchasing contains GMOs” (Fagan 1). Due to people’s instinctual hesitation to change and clear desire to easily identify foods as containing GMOs or not, it is necessary that contaminated products are labeled to keep this scientific field from going beyond its boundary.


Despite the blurry lines between what can be assumed or interpreted to not contain GMOs and what does, it can be argued that labeling these particular items would intensify misconceptions of the science and limit consumer choice. Genetically modified organisms hold potential to produce food of higher nutrition and larger quantities to countries suffering from malnutrition and poverty. With these charitable qualities, it is debatable that the wide spread of labeling would set up a negative reputation for a promising science. Nonetheless, the labeling can be informative without being damaging.

The science behind GMO technology is up and rising and has the ability to expand farther than our universal human morals like to accept. By implementing a system that requires GMO products to display its contents in their entirety, people will be granted feelings of assurance. Labeling is an essential step in monitoring that genetically modified organisms refrain from surpassing their unspoken limits.

Cloning : Blaine

When you think about cloning. What is the first thing that comes to your head? Taking the genes of one person and making a whole other human being? Probably not, you probably think of star wars and the storm troopers who were cloned from the assassin Boba Fett. But not a lot of people know about cloning.A lot of people, have a negative opinion about stem cell research, but that is the same way we made Dolly the sheep. But is there a limit to science? There shouldn’t be any limits to cloning because it can help people later in life.How does an inventor explore ideas to do what he loves? As well as, Can anyone be an inventor? So if you’re ready to learn about cloning. keep reading to learn everything I can tell you about cloning.


First things first, What is cloning? Well the term cloning describes a number of different processes that can be used to produce genetically identical copies of a biological entity. The copied material, which has the same genetic makeup as the original, is referred to as a clone.

The most common form of cloning is ,somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). SCNT is the way dolly the sheep was made. in this method, the nucleus of an egg cell is removed and replaced by the nucleus of a cell from another adult. In Dolly’s case, the cell came from the mammary gland of an adult ewe. This nucleus contained that ewe’s DNA. After being inserted into the egg, the adult cell nucleus is reprogrammed by the host cell. The egg is artificially stimulated to divide and behave in a similar way to an embryo fertilised by sperm. After many divisions in culture, this single cell forms a blastocyst (an early stage embryo with about 100 cells) with almost identical DNA to the original donor who provided the adult cell , a clone!Definitely something that someone would like to be a part of to make this become a reality. But is there a limit to how far this can go? There is no real answer at this moment because we haven’t got much farther than Dolly and a few ideas. It’s all up to you to decide.


Another question to come up is, Are clones ever made naturally? If you weren’t already thinking it yes, they can. Identical twins are a form of natural clones. But, did you know that identical twins don’t have to look a like? This is true, “Identical” refers to how the twins are formed, not how they look. If they look identical from head to toe then they are called, Monozygotic twins. Monozygotic twins are formed from a single fertilized egg, but the zygote splits into two parts after conception. forming two embryos, and since they come from the same egg, they have the same genetic origins. Even though monozygotic twins have the same DNA, there can be different ways to express it. In the womb (and out of the womb) that the twins are exposed to can change their appearances. resulting in things such as different fingerprints, but usually their fingerprints are very similar though.


Is there a downside to cloning? Well in fact there are many downsides to cloning. One major downside is new diseases could form. This is because when you are cloning genes the cells mutate. Resulting in new and more aggressive genetic diseases. Another downside is that organs will get rejected because of mutation. Although genetic cloning utilizes the cells of the organ of the recipient, there is still a chance that the cells will mutate. This will result in a significant difference on the cell makeup between the replicated and original organ. I think this is when science starts to get a limit on what it can and can’t do, because of the possibilities of mutation and organ rejection that could lead to serious heart problems.


All in all, I believe that cloning is and will be a great scientific advancement. This is because of the recent progress that we have made in the science world as far as cloning. Also I believe that cloning could fix a lot of problems. This is because if someone needs a lung, but the donor doesn’t want to die yet, you could just clone his lung and give it to the recipient. But the question to be answered, Should there be limits to science? In my opinion, I believe that science only hurts people because we don’t know its full potential or ours. So we can’t fully understand the power that comes with science. So I say that there shouldn’t be limits to science because of the need for it in our life.

Limits to Science : Payton

Stem cell research has arose a large misconception among society. Stem cells are an undifferentiated cell of a multicellular organism that is capable of giving rise to indefinitely more cells of the same type, and from which certain other kinds of cell arise by differentiation. These stem cells are retrieved in a multitude of way. Exploring stem cell research can demonstrate the process of becoming an inventor/innovator and what limits should be put on science.


Stem cells have proven to advance medical technology in many ways. “In addition to understanding average human development more completely, human embryonic stem cells are providing key concepts to help us study the origins of many devastating diseases that oppress babies and young children. Such research may even help to uncover targets for drug development. ... Human embryonic stem cells remain the gold standard for pluripotency: to prohibit work on human embryonic stem cells will thus do severe collateral damage to the new and exciting research on iPS cells.” says Francis S. Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health. Stem cells are used to save the lives of the ill and injured. Some may argue that using embryonic stem cells is immoral. “We must not sacrifice one type of human beings to benefit another,” argues Richard Doeflinger, an official with the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.Stem cell research will not be stopped, but there should be limits.


Since the huge controversy about stem cell usage is because people think they only come from abortions, there is another way to retrieve embryonic stem cells. Many labs now take embryos from fertilization clinics and grow them in the lab. This sets a limit so that “killing to save another life” is out of the picture. Another limit that should be put on stem cell research is only using stem cells to heal the ill or injured. Using stem cells for any other reason would be too much for the evolution of them. Victor, from Frankenstein, created a monster. Using his knowledge of science and creating life, he went too far by creating a monster that destroyed everyone he loved. “My father was not scientific. I was left to struggle with a child’s blindness, added to a student's thirst for knowledge. (II.IX)” Because he had no limits set for him, his thoughts and experiments went too far. If there are no limits set for stem cell research, then the science and experiments may go too far and lead to creations that create disasters.


Stem cell research is a good example of a science leading to a disaster. It has caused many controversies and problems amongst society. Setting limits to stem cell research would allow for less problems in the science world. Letting science go too far could lead to accidents such as the one in Frankenstein, limits are needed.


Citations

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, Susan J. Wolfson, and Ronald Levao. The Annotated Frankenstein. Cambridge, MA: Belknap of Harvard UP, 2012. Print.

"Stem Cells." Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection. Detroit: Gale, 2015. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 4 Mar. 2016.

"Therapeutic Cloning: Stem Cell Research." Genetics and Genetic Engineering. Barbara Wexler. 2011 ed. Detroit: Gale, 2011. Information Plus Reference Series. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 4 Mar. 2016.

Hacking- Zach

Hacking and programming can potentially be very dangerous for the future of science and technology. Our advancements in technology is growing fast and the ability to hack dangerous documents and classified information grows beyond the control of law enforcement. With so many different technologies and programs to help hackers get this information, the threat of releasing information could be too much. Hacking and programming needs to have regulations and limitations because people abuse the advancements in technology for their personal benefit and governments abuse the right of privacy.


Many blackhats (hackers who have no true identity) are more sophisticated than the government programs put in place. These blackhats are unidentifiable outside of the deep web. Their usernames make them famous and the bigger the hack they make, the more publicity and fame they get due to their ability to infiltrate secure systems. Programming, coding, and hacking all pose threats towards the security of our nation and can cause major problems simply by being technologically savvy. The potential for danger only increases as technology advances and the blackhats have access to more programs to make it easier to hack. Some hackers find problems in security systems and don’t abuse their knowledge, however many use their abilities to get money or blackmail companies, secure networks and more. Blackhats in todays society are currently “collectively declaring war on Donald Trump” due to his campaign and the comments he has made in recent debates.


Although people can argue that blackhats can be successful in life and help the greater good of the human race, many times they simply abuse their powers. The ability to hack bank accounts, government security programs, and computers of normal people is too powerful. They can act in secret without people even finding out for a long period of time. The blackhats who cause problems tend to steal money, blackmail for money, and overall hack for their personal benefits and personal improvements. Blackhats choose to do good or bad with their certain set of skills, and if they choose the bad side they can end up in jail for their crimes. Although, some blackhats tend to be on the good side and help security systems and basically hack the hackers. Everything online leaves digital dust which can be found if a hacker is looking in the right places. This means that every hack leaves trails back to where the hacker is located, or possibly what he used to do the hack. These people are called whitehats. They are hacking for the greater good of the people and keeping people safe.


Another big concern for the people of the United States is government spying and the Snowden story. The Government abused their powers and spied on the citizens of the United States to try and find terrorists and other violent acts taking place. Our Government was spying on us which is against the Constitution and abusing our right of privacy. This was a major controversy that needs to have regulations and limitations to make sure the Government is not breaking any laws or failing regulations. The Government was “suggested to break privacy laws hundreds of times a year” which caused conflict throughout the United Nations. This leak from Edward Snowden was a major breakthrough in the suspicion that the Government was spying on us, but no one really knew if it was true. Snowden made the rumors true and let the public know.


Hacking and technology advancements need to have regulations based on the laws already put in place. Without law abiding citizens and Governments, the society will continue to abuse their skills and abilities to hack into secure systems. Hackers can steal money, blackmail companies, and even take down websites. The whitehats and blackhats that are hacking either for personal benefits or to help citizens or companies protect themselves. This can be a useful skill, but also can be very dangerous for everyone if technology advances to more superior systems. Regulations need to be put in place to protect our country and the people of the country or else hackers will start taking more extreme measures.