BIO-ETHICS

Jocelyn C., Maddie D., Mckenzie N., Sienna S.

Food

Agriculture:

In today’s society, genetic engineering is being used to make changes to crops that can’t be achieved by selective breeding. Crops can be made more durable, more productive, and less dependent on pesticides (Pearce). So far the focus has been on the staple crops of poor farmers in order to help their economic standing as well as their health (Pearce). Although rumors have given these modified plants a bad reputation, there are very few known drawbacks.



Cloned Meat:

The FDA’s decision that the meat and milk of cloned animals is as safe as that of natural-born animals opened the doors for many countries to begin using cloning for food. However, since it’s such an expensive process, clones are usually only used for breeding, not for consumption (Herro). If a clone is sold as food, it is not required to be labeled any differently than the other meat (Herro).

Medical

In 13 years scientist spend 13 billion dollars sequencing the first complete human genome. Eleven years later and here we are not "Gattaca" where they were picking out the looks of their baby. Instead we curing monogene diseases in babies, finding a diagnosis if not a cure. Scientist have even made it possible to screen for diseases in embryo just a few days old and with IVF inplant only the healthy and disease free fertilized eggs (Moyer). Mitochondrial disease is past on from the mother. Doctors can now use the mtDNA from donors egg and the DNA or nucleus from the main parent and have a healthy egg, in essence making a child with three biological parents (Rheingold).

Genetically modifying yeast to produce medicines/key components in medicines such as malaria. This new approach is expensive to get started along with time consuming (Barras). People can screen for cancer genes and doctors can make more personalized medicine, but screening can lead to branding and labeling people as unfit to wed or have children, leading to genetic inferiority (Lisa).

Designer Babies

Imagine a day in the future when a husband and a wife can go to a doctors office and design their own baby, picking their hair color, eye color, height, weight, or even intelligence levels. Though these things are far off in the future what the doctors of today can do is gender selection and mutate genes to prevent diseases. Both of these procedures help in preventing debilitating diseases in children.The problem with this is that these are difficult procedures and not performing them right could cause different unknown problems to the babies, or even eliminate positive traits. (Moyer and Melinda).

ANIMAL RESEARCH


Pets:

Cloning and genetically modifying pets is beginning to become more common. Benefits of modifying and cloning are the creation of allergen free pets and saving endangered species (“Wildcard: Genetically Modified Pets”). On the other hand, however, cloned pets tend to have more health problems than natural pets and there are already so many pets that don’t have homes every year that die. It could also change people’s views on death and could lead them to believe human cloning is a good idea (“Should You Be Able to Clone Your Pet?”).


De-Extinction/Preserving Endangered Species:

New technologies are making it possible to bring back extinct animals and save endangered species. Saving endangered species is obviously a good thing, but it may not be such a good idea to bring back already extinct animals. There may not be enough information about the extinct animal to determine where it will live, how it will be taken care of, or if it will even survive after birth. There are also concerns that the fundings for these projects are driven by science rather than the preservation of the species (Friese and Marris).


Medical Advancements Using Animals:

Scientists have altered mice so that their immune systems mimic how humans respond to disease. They can test drugs on these mice to see how they respond to certain treatments without harming the patients. The mice can be used to study a range of diseases including bladder cancer, HIV, diabetes, damaged tissue in the body, and more. The only problem with this is that not all tumor types grow in the humanized mice and it could be potentially harmful towards the mice (Gaidos).

Work Cited

Barras, Colin. "Anything Plants Can Grow." New Scientist 222.2964 (2014): 34. Science Reference Center. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.

Friese, Carrie, and Claire Marris. “Making De-Extinction Mundane?” Plos Biology 12.3 (2014): 1-3. OmniFile Full Text Select (H.W. Wilson). Web. 13 Nov. 2014.

Gaidos, Susan. "Of Mice And Man." Science News 183.6 (2013): 22-25. Health Source Consumer Edition. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.

Herro, A. (2007, Mar). Food from cloned animals receives preliminary approval. World Watch, 20, 8. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/230019971?accountid=31527

Lisa, Stern Slifka. "Review Essay: The Troubled Dream of Genetic Medicine." Pediatric nursing 33.3 (2007): 271-3. ProQuest. Web. 14 Nov. 2014

Moyer, Melinda Wenner. "Infant Possibilities." Popular Science 285.2 (2014): 50-85. Health Source - Consumer Edition. Web. 10. 2014.

Pearce, Fred. "Step Up To the Plate." MAS Ultra - School Edition. EBSCO, 27 Sept. 2014. Web. 12 Nov. 2014.

Rheingold, Curtis. "Genes, Ethics and the Future of Treating Disease." The Bates Student. Uloop, Inc., 5 Mar. 2014. Web. 12 Nov. 2014.

"Should You Be Able To Clone Your Pet?" Junior Scholastic 114.11 (2012): 9. TOPICsearch. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.

Smith, Patricia. "Designer Babies." New York Times Upfront 12 May 2014: 6-7. ProQuest. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.

"Wildcard: Genetically Modified Pets." M2presswire (2007): Newspaper Source. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.