Essay on Genetic Engineering

Submitted By beliken
Words: 1104
Pages: 5

Genetic Engineering
Luke Tourtellotte


Genetic Engineering is something only the most intelligent men and
women in the world work on. Genetic Engineering is taking who and
what you are and changing it. It is almost the most dangerous thing to
a human, if done wrong your life can never be the same.

Cloning 
 
There are two main applications of cloning. One is "embryo 
cloning," which could be used to create new human parts. For 
example, some scientists are working on methods to produce a new 
embryo from an existing person's cells and then use the cells 
from that embryo to produce replacements for failing body parts 
in the original person. An embryo develops about a week after 
conception, and in its early stages consists of a few identical 
cells. 
 
"Reproductive cloning" would produce complete cloned individuals, 
like Dolly the sheep. Genetic engineers are now able to clone 
mice and cattle as well as sheep. Human cloning would 
produce a new person who is a near genetic copy of another 
person. He or she would, however, be different from the original 
person because he or she would develop in a different environment 
and have different experiences. 
 
Many people think both "reproductive cloning" and "embryo 
cloning" are repugnant and unethical. Other people think embryo 
cloning could be acceptable in some cases to treat disease but 
think reproductive cloning is wholly unnecessary and never 
justifiable. 
 
In the U.S., federal funds cannot be used for reproductive 
cloning experiments and some states have outlawed it, but there 
is no federal law against it.[5, pg. 4] A team of researchers 
recently announced they are going to attempt human cloning in an 
"unidentified Mediterranean country."[1] These researchers have 
been widely condemned, but some of their colleagues are primarily 
concerned that this early attempt at cloning could give the 
technology a bad name and reduce the public's willingness to 
allow further cloning research.

Somatic cell manipulation 
 
Somatic cell manipulation adds genes to existing cells in some 
part of the human body, such as the lungs or the blood. Somatic 
cell manipulation is only supposed to affect the DNA of the 
person undergoing the treatment. In theory, it does not produce 
changes that could be passed on to that person's children and 
grandchildren. 
 
Somatic cell manipulation was first attempted on humans in 
1990. The mechanisms of somatic cell manipulation are 
poorly understood, and the effects can be lethal. In one case, a 
teenager died after researchers at the University of Pennsylvania 
tried to introduce genes into his liver cells, using a modified 
virus to carry the genes to their destination. The idea was that 
the virus would "infect" the target cells and insert the desired 
genes, without being dangerous itself. The researchers are still 
not certain how they killed their patient, but evidence suggests 
the virus invaded many organs besides the liver and triggered a 
severe immune reaction. 
 
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), somatic 
cell manipulation also poses the threat of insertional 
mutagenesis, in which inserting new DNA changes or disrupts the 
functioning of existing DNA. FDA also says 
researchers attempting to alter somatic cells could inadvertently 
introduce foreign genes into the patient's sperm or egg cells.
If this happened, researchers could accidentally change 
the genetic information passed from parent to child. 
 
Researchers are required to submit data to FDA and the 
National Institutes of Health (NIH) on any adverse effects that 
occur during somatic cell manipulation trials. After the 
teenager's death at the University of