Although I am pro-biotech I am still sort of in the muddy middle with some of the topics with a slight lean towards Professor Silver and the science and genetics side. I do not understand why it is such a bad thing to use genetic engineering to prevent unnecessary suffering when all it will do is help. But at the same time this can put out a slippery slope for some to go to extremes and change stuff like eye color and strength. If they can find a way to use genetic engineering to prevent illness and disease but limit the power to only this usage then I think we should be able to use this resource!

I believe that we are not playing God in this use of genetic engineering because he is the one who gave us this mass amounts of knowledge to learn about genetic engineering so that we can use it to our own benefit. If he did not want us to “seize the power” of genetic engineering then he would have made us dumber! I believe that the Human Genome Project is a miracle in the workings! For scientists to be able to find the certain genes that cause certain diseases in the hopes of curing human kind and their diseases is just amazing. The project is completed but research is still being done which I think is best.

We will gain a healthier world and longer life spans and so much more. There is way less to say of what we will lose. We will all still have our dignity and our human nature. Our human nature will just be better and more advanced. That’s what science and technology are here for- for advancements in our lives. There will not be any quote un-quote, designer babies as long as we limit the genetic engineering to medical usage only. And if the engineering is considered as medical then it will not be given to only the rich but to any one who needs it (seeing that we get the universal health care we should get!). I picture it being like when a women gets pregnant the first doctors checkup includes the genetic look at to see if any engineering should be necessary and if the doctor recommends any genetic engineering for the baby then it’s the mothers decision if she wants it done or not which they probably would.

As for Genetically Modified food I really do not give a crap if my foods have been sciencezed- (do you like my invention of new words?). Its not like the foods really taste any different and they are not mean to harm. Many people, when asked, had no idea that their food had been genetically modified and if its already been done all over then why stop it now. If its going to help the food, crops, and amount of resources then I say go ahead! Especially if it has already been done and no one has really been affected by it. If people ask, “what about allergies?”, I would tell them to just buy organic. Why stop the GM foods when they are helping in so many ways?

Stem Cells and Cloning... Well I think adult stem cell usage and embryonic stem cell usage should both be allowed an used. I agree with John Kessler when he says that actual human life does not start till the fertilized egg is put into a mothers womb. Fertilization is completely different from conception and that is where I think people get confused. All cells have equal potential to become and entire organism. If the egg did not have the mothers womb it would never have a chance of becoming a human life. So when some say that the scientists are destroying human life or a chance at human life they are wrong because they are simply cells. I do not get why people get so offended with embryonic stem cell research and say when scientists are destroying the embryo that they are destroying potential human life. So these people are basically destroying human life when they scratch their skin!

By culturing embryonic stem cells we can steer their differentiation into specific cell types. These cells are just about limitless to whatever we need them to be for instance neural passages for the nervous system and put in the spine to cure paralyses. By embryonic stem cell research scientists are gaining more knowledge in the biology of the ES cells that can one day be used to heal our bodies. We need to be able to use ES cells to our advantage for things like the nervous system, pancreas and the heart which all rejuvenate too poorly to cure them selves after serious injury. If you could cure a spinal chord injury how could you not ever want to do such a thing? For all this to be done though, we need not only the support of the people (which already 70% of Americans support ES cell research) but we need the will of both houses of our congress and just fund it and allow it. Again all it will do is help.

And finally… Cloning. My view and perception of cloning is kind of confused. I think one way about some parts of this issue and other ways for other parts. First off I think cloning animals is not an ethical or moral issue and should not be all dramatic and crazy. I think its fine to clone animals especially if its already been done and the animals are fine after wards. I some times think its kind of cute! I also think that its for the best in the food and meat industry especially if it is going to make business a lot easier and more productive. Secondly, if it is needed, I think cloning organs should be allowed and fine and dandy as well. What if someone was to have heart failure and needed a heart? Now-a-days that person would be put on a donor waiting list and have to wait and probably wouldn’t get one in time to save their life. But if we could have a heart already made and ready to be put in then we would not be losing as many lives! Thirdly, as for human cloning, I really liked the movie the Island and thought it was crazy cool but at the same time never thought of it as a real thing that would happen in the future. I do not know why but just thinking of humans being cloned seems so unrealistic and a little scary. I strongly believe cloning should never be done to humans.

All in all I am mostly pro- biotech/genetic engineering/research/cloning except for certain aspects here and there. :]

Audio File