Genetic Engineering

The Future of the Human Genome

Thesis

While genetic engineering demonstrates the ability to cure hereditary disease and prevent the inheritance of such diseases, the use of any genetic engineering that permanently alters the human genome is immoral based off principles of individualism granting each person's right to their own nature (genetic makeup).
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Bijay Dhungel, MSc. "Basic Concepts in Genetic Engineering." The Future of Human Evolution. Center for Evolutionary Technologies, n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2015.

History

  • The term “genetic engineering” was founded by Jack Williamson in his 1951 science fiction novel Dragon’s Island

  • Two years later, DNA’s role in heredity was confirmed by Alfred Hershey and Martha Chase

  • Precursors include prosthetics, organ donation, and artificial organs

Kinds of Gene Therapy

  • Germline: permanently alters genetic code
  • Somatic: only affects individual genes and cannot be passed down
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"The Effects of Germ-line versus Somatic Cell Mutations." Biology-forums.com. Biology-Forums.com, 2011. Web. 13 Nov. 2015.

Unethicality of Germline Therapy

  • Denies inherent value of life by determining a person's worth only by considering their genetic capabilities
  • May have unintended consequences, such as other mutations
  • Large potential for abuse (clone army, slavery, racism)
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"Grand Army of the Republic." Wookieepedia. Wikia.com, n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2015.

Ethicality of Somatic Gene Therapy

  • Does not transfer to subsequent generations
  • Less side effects due to localized nature of the changes
  • Treats diseases and other specific genetic malfunctions

Future of Genetic Modification

  • Outlaw germline therapy, both in the public and private sectors
  • Fund research for somatic therapy in the public sector while banning its use by corporations

Works Cited

Brudney, Daniel. "Losing dignity." Perspectives in Biology and Medicine Summer 2009: 454+. Student Resources in Context. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

Bugliarello, George. "Bioengineering Ethics." Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics. Ed. Carl Mitcham. Vol. 1. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005. 190-193. Student Resources in Context. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

Mautner, Michael. "Will cloning end human evolution?" The Futurist Nov.-Dec. 1997: 68. Student Resources in Context. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

Mehlman, Maxwell J. "Biomedical Enhancements." Issues In Science & Technology 25.3 (2009): 59. MasterFILE Complete. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

"New Generation Of Bio-Hackers Make Dna Misbehave." Newsweek Global 163.1 (2014): 1. MasterFILE Complete. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

"New Scientists Boost Disease-based Research at Boston Biomedical Research Institute." Science Letter 16 Oct. 2007: 441. Student Resources in Context. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

Nguyen, Duong, Julia Sharp, and Karen Burg. "The big break: a module on biomedical engineering principles and medical devices." Science Scope Dec. 2014: 39. Student Resources in Context. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

Stolba, Christine. "Overcoming motherhood: pushing the limits of reproductive choice." Policy Review (2002): 31+. Student Resources in Context. Web. 13 Nov. 2015.

Thomas, Paul. "Meme splicing Genesis 6:1-4 and the apocalypse of 2012." Journal of Religion and Popular Culture 24.2 (2012): 310. Student Resources in Context. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

Turoldo, Fabrizio. "Responsibility As An Ethical Framework For Public Health Interventions." American Journal Of Public Health 99.7 (2009): 1197. MasterFILE Complete. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.