Genetics





There are endless paths and opportunities arisen from genetics and the understanding of the human genome. The problem is discovering which path to take without an ethical uproar and extreme moral opposition. In the last few decades, scientists have dedicated themselves to genes and their modification possibilities in crops, animals and humans. Advancing biotechnology allows us to observe genetic makeup and disorders on a chromosomal level. We now have the potential power to sequence every coiled strand of DNA, customize medicine specific to patient genetics, and clone for reproductive or therapeutic purposes.

Our reasoning has taken our species thus far, but the true question is where to draw the line. How do we progress scientifically without regressing socially? Just because we can alter species on a molecular level, should we impede natural abilities in such a way? Whichever road we take, we have to make sure to not fall down the dreaded slippery slope and into a Gattaca-esque homogenized society.

Some of the most amazing, yet highly controversial, findings have been uncovered in the realm of our own species. Since the completion of the human genome project, scientific testing has us well on our way towards more intricate genetic discovery. A major key player is DNA sequencing. For a major cost, people can sequence their predisposed diseases and hypothetical future complications in their fully analyzed results.

In a sense, sequencing is true nakedness as DNA strands reveal internal secrets of lineage. There is no gene for the human sole, but there is certainly a lot a sequence can tell about a person. It would be very difficult to establish who has access to the genomic information. I think if the day comes where it is normal for citizens to have their full individual sequence, it should stay private and personal data. Currently the PCP10 is a group of brave individuals who publically display their information, but I think ultimately it will become a problem. The world isn’t ready to take on such data and I feel it can be miss used or taken too far. I never want to see the day where I have to give my DNA to be eligible for health insurance or considered for a job based on the order of my A’s, T’s, G’s and C’s. I want to be analyzed for the girl I am instead of what a scientific code determines me to be.

The only other individuals who should have access to personal genomic information are trusted physicians who strictly use it for medical purposes.
I don't want my doctor performing guess and check methods when it comes to treatment for the rest of my life. It sounds logical to have them examine the information for my best interest. It sounds foolish to continue the current risky protocol when it is completely avoidable. Today, doctors prescribe an array of different medication and remedies for their patients not knowing what exactly will cure them. They must repeat those attempts until there is one that actually works. It can take days, months and several allergic reactions later to ever find a pharmaceutical that will help. Why stay locked in the dark when there is a viable opportunity for light? If we have access to preventative medicine, hesitation is unnecessary.

Uncovering genetic information is one thing, but tampering with that data is another. I think genetic engineering is way too risky. Though I don’t know the science or the specific potential repercussions behind it, it seems completely unnatural to change lives at the molecular level. Who is the individual to decide the standards of a healthy embryo? Who is to establish boundaries for the engineering field and what happens when those lines are crossed? Who exactly decides what flaws we fix and what disease to eradicate?

Perfection will not be attained through genetic manipulation, only unoriginality. Designer babies should stay a mere fictional idea and not reach a Frankenstein reality. Changing DNA codes at an early stage may open up new realms of opportunity in a physical sense, but will take away what their character could have gained in a spiritual and intellectual sense. To struggle is to grow, and though I do not wish suffering on anyone, that pain can without a doubt mold human emotion and moral platforms. The role of suffering in human life is detrimental to appreciating, learning, and living.

Though some see human flaw as a disadvantage, I think it represents beauty and rich diversity this world has to offer. To homogenize society would stifle creativity and a different way of thinking. Our variety, our flaws, and our differences give rise to new ideas, new communication, and new compromise.


Just as it is unnatural to modify our babies, it is unnatural to genetically alter the products we put in our bodies as well. I believe we should be educated on the specific origin of the food we consume. Eating is more than just filling your mouth with foreign foods for the taste, it is an intimate process and source in which your bodies gets is detrimental nutrients and caloric energy. Labeling these GMO’s would be a step in the right direction. Honestly I think many people wouldn’t have a problem with it as long as it wasn’t harming them, but I also believe many would be a little skeptical if they knew they were eating fish strawberries. In my opinion, consumers and farmers should stick to organic produce. It is natural and pure where as GMO’s go against nature and shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Some argue that genetic modification is necessary to prevent world hunger. I would argue they are ignorant. We currently have enough food to feed 9 billion people even though there are only 6 billion people who exist. Our problem is proper allocation of produce and not production. We need to focus on more efficient ways of distribution before we start encouraging fake food farms. If we were to stop
throwing away 8.3 million ton’s of food a year, then we could cure world hunger through natural and healthy means of production.

I am not in favor of mass-producing genetically perfected clone corn, nor am I in favor of mass producing human clones. I’ll admit that I have always wanted a twin, but I certainly wouldn’t pursue the idea of growing a replica of myself in a petri dish for personal benefit. Much like the clips we saw of the film Shutter Island, an advanced society would have no problem harboring their clone copies to selfishly use them for spare parts. Reproductive cloning is intimidating, and they should stick to sheep like dolly to tamper with rather than fragile human lives.

Therapeutic cloning on the other hand seems acceptable and a much more approachable process because it would impact the medical community advantageously. There is a difference between growing a human to slice organs out of them and expelling stem cells from an unviable embryonic cluster. Embryos that are discarded should instead be donated to research to help further understand the potential of stem cells in a medical setting. It is silly to allow them to go to waste to avoid the moral controversy between scientists and catholic ideals of preserving potential life.

In the centuries before us, surgery was looked upon as an evil. It didn’t seem “right” to intervene with internal issues in the human body, but now surgical procedures are completely normal, from a minor incision to the most intricate of operations. I completely agree that genetic understanding shouldn’t be passed up for fear of the unknown. But at the same time, we must be skeptical for evolutionary and societal reasons. It is simple physics that for every action there is a reaction. This cause and effect motion must be considered and we must know our repercussions. Genetic engineering is a fairly new and threatening practice that could easily fall into the wrong hands if not closely monitored for beneficial medical reasons. Not only could it wedge an even wider gap between the poor and the rich, but also it could terminate what little natural beauty we have in this world. We must preserve what it means to be human, accept flaw, and not yearn to fix what is not necessarily broken.