Essay on Genetic Engineering

Submitted By beliken
Words: 1112
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