With topics like Genomic DNA and Genetics, reproductive and therapeutic stem cell research, designer babies and playing God it is easy to intermingle personal morals with the progression of science. There isn’t just one to side to any of these issues. It is not possible to look at just the science perspective to decide what it right because as a society we would become heartless and progress too far. But it is not right to look at these issues from only the religious standpoint either, because, in this case nothing would progress and we would see the repercussions. So we need to meet in the middle and find an equilibrium of scientific knowledge and being respectful of people of faith. But is it possible to reach that middle area when everything seems so black and white?

In today’s modern society, it is possible, with a few hundred dollars to sequence a persons DNA genome. With this information, family lineage is shown as well as other basic facts about the person. But in the near future it might be possible to see the diseases and conditions that the person will contract in their lifetime. But we can only get to this place if people are willing to have the DNA sequenced and put on the Internet so that scientists are able to study the genomes of many people to identify the difference between people. But if this information were to be on the web, Health Insurance Companies would be able to see every disease potential costumers have had as well as diseases that they are going to have. If this were to happen, it would be near impossible to get Health Insurance. Insurance Companies are already picky about the people they insure based on their past medical history, but if they were able to see their future conditions, I do not think that anyone would have insurance. Exposing genomes is the ultimate level of ‘nakedness’ because people would be looking at you form the cellular level, basically the essence of your self. Genomes are very similar in a family so if one family member were to reveal their genome, the family’s genome would be exposed as well.

I personally do not see any problems with having customized genetic medicine. I think it is a great idea actually. Now, doctors have to try several types of medicine on people and many different combinations before they can find one that works for the person. Combinations that work on one person are not guaranteed to work on another person. The time spent on trying to find a medicine that works could potentially be enough time for the patient to die. So having a personalized medicine for everyone would be a good idea and I do not see anything wrong with it. In my opinion, Genetic Engineering is the most controversial topic. For certain things, I don’t understand how people can not go and change their baby at the DNA level so they wont be born without a horrible disease. But on the other hand, I do not know if I could live with the fact that I changed my baby. Disease and other tough situations bring families closer together, children who made it through tough births and difficult pasts are loved more by their parents because they are here and they are alive, they beat the odds just by being alive. But if I had the choice to eliminate my child from having Down syndrome, it would be a very tough choice for me to make. I feel that people who are healthy do have it A LOT easier in the world, but people who do have diseases appreciate the world around them though. In the end I think I would opt to change the baby because it will be better for them in their future. But, I do not believe in changing babies’ looks, like changing their DNA to ensure that they have blue eyes and blonde hair. I would love my brother Conner just as much if he had brown hair and brown eyes instead of blond hair and blue eyes. I think that changing their DNA to make sure they have characteristics would lead to designer babies and the world of Gatacca.

Equality and diversity issues have always been a problem, but more recently being homosexual has caused many problems. In an earlier blog post on the ftsbiosci website posed this question, ‘what do you think of this possible future Fukuyama describes without many gay people? Without much of a gay culture? Or even without any gay culture at all? Is there anything wrong with the "expecting mothers" preference to have children that are not short, bald, or gay?’ I personally would not take the pill to eliminate gayness because I do not think that sexual preference is a disadvantage. Homosexuality doesn’t isolate people from the world, it doesn’t compromise happiness and being homosexual does not make you any less of a person than a straight person. At least these are my personal beliefs and everyone is entitled to their beliefs. I just feel it would be wrong for the parents to impose their views on the developing fetus without ever meeting their future son or daughter. Some people love being homosexual while others hate it and what to change everything about it. If anything I think it should be up to the child to decide. If mothers opt for this magical pill, the gay society, as we know it would be nonexistent. San Francisco would be just like Ventura, Orange County, the state of New Mexico, the homosexual community is what makes san fran so colorful, fun, bright and unique. And if we start eliminating gayness, what is to stop us from eliminating other human characteristics. I just think that one thing would lead to another and we would end up all the same, but that just might be my dramatic mind in action.

GMO’s are relatively new to the market. I think that they are a good idea to an extent. Being able to place a gene into strawberries so they can live through the cold, to me is a really good idea! The farmers win because they wont be losing money on their crops, the consumers win because there is more strawberries available to the public and science is improving. But GMO’s have gotten pretty extreme and it is very difficult to find a truly organic plant. Pollen from the GMO plants fly in the wind and infest the other plants, making them non organic. I think that GMO’s are safe because they are tested in labs for many months and even years before they are allowed to go onto the market. But there is a chance that someone could be allergic to the wheat gene that they put into a blueberry and they could eat the blueberries without knowing and end up in the hospital. So I think that GMO’s should be labeled with the type of genes that were spliced into them so that people with allergies will be aware. I think that biotech can and should be a cure to end world hunger in third world countries because it would make it so much easier for the growers to plant the food and to make it be usable. As we saw in the video, the sweet potatoes that were grown organically were not usable because they could not survive in the weather, but if they were genetically modified they would be able to grow in the remote parts of Africa.

Stem Cell research is a very tough topic for many people in the United States as well as around the world. I never really gave it much thought but now that I have, I don’t really like it. The thought of intentionally creating a life, JUST to kill it, is so sad to me! The fetus that is used could possibly be the next Albert Einstein, Kobe Bryant or it could have been me! It’s a very sad but on the other hand, the fetuses that are frozen in test tubes are just going to be burned if the parents decide that they do not want to have them so why cant they be used for stem cell research? But it goes back to the fact that the test tube babies are not alive, they are frozen. And in order to get the stem cells, they need to give the baby live in order to kill it for the stem cells. As of right now, as an 18 year old senior in high school trying to decide what college to go to, I do not have an answer as to how I feel about this, but in five years, I might have an answer.

All in all, there is not one side to any issue. And scientific issues are no exception. In fact they may be even more controversial because they will effect they rest of our lives. If morals and religion conflict with progression, we will see a regression in our society as other countries succeed the US. But if morals and religion are non-existent, we will become a super race and I for one do not want that to happen.