Genetic Engineering

Is genetic engineering helpful or harmful for society?

What is Genetic Engineering?

Genetic engineering is modifying an organism's genes (plant, animal, human, etc.) to reach an outcome of preferred characteristics for that particular organism. Gentic engineering can have good effects and bad effects on plants, animals, even society.

Background Information of Genetic Engineering

  • Genes control hair color, height, health problems, etc.
  • 1980- Genetically engineered bacteria made to help clean up oil spills
  • 1994- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves the Flavr Savr tomato for sale
  • 1999- Over 100 million acres worldwide are planted with genetically engineered seeds.
  • 2005- Scientist did a test on rats to observe the effects of eating genetically engineered foods. There were changes in blood compostion and kidney size
  • 2007- Scientist in Korea made glow in the dark cats
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Pros of Genetic Engineering

  • Genetically engineered crops could be immune to bugs while being healthy enough for human consumption (cabbage)
  • When they are on store shelves, they last longer without spoiling
  • Some GMOs can help with problems like oil spills.
  • Genetic engineeering could lead to the cure of some diseases like Parkinson's Disease
  • Plants can grow faster
  • Take bad illnesses from mother's egg so that it wiil not be tranferred to baby
  • Humulin insulin is produced by genetically engineered E. coli bacteria
  • Genetic engineering can make food healthier

Cons of Genetic Engineering

  • "Gene doping" can become a problem (Schwarzenegger Mice)
  • People who have had genetic engineering done on them could affect their offspring in a bad way
  • "Critics say it's playing god"- CNN Newsroom
  • Genetic engineering could make food unhealthy, despite it being tastier and more pleasing to the eye
  • Using genetic engineering as a theraputic solution may resolve one problem, but also may cause another

Final Thoughts

I think genetic engineering can be helpful to society. It just needs to be done in tight restriction. For example, I think it's okay for scientist and doctors to genetically engineer adults to stop some diseases like Parkinson's Disease. However, I also think that genetic engineering can lead to some awful things like bioweapons or "gene doping." Genetic engineereing can also lead to some unintended consequences, like deformities in children of genetically engineered adults. All together, I think genetic engineering can be a wonderful tool to make life for humans and society better, but it should be done with very strict statutes.


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Gershon, Eric. "Building Better Babies." CNN Newsroom RSS. Cable News Network, 26` Feb. 2014. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.

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