Genetic Manipulation

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Withthe current technology, we can be able to manipulate and createorganisms for various purposes such as agriculture, construction, andmedicine. Genetic manipulation of the genetic codes of differentorganisms or engineering of new organisms promises to change the wayhumans relate to the natural world. There are, however, ethicalconcerns related to the practice such as human dignity, negativeconsequences and justice (Koepsell, 2007). If genetic engineeringdoes not consider the ethical issues, then the potential benefits canbe outweighed by harms.

MitochondrialDNA transfer is designed to eliminate mitochondrial diseases. Thescience might seem promising, but the scientists have not yetconcluded whether there are no hidden complications. The science isyet to be tested on humans given the challenges. Federal and privatefunding for clinical trials of DNA transfer in humans are illegal inmany states such as the United States and the United Kingdom. Theethical concerns in mitochondria DNA transfer involve the fact thatharmful effects do not appear until adulthood of the geneticallyengineered embryo (Lanza, Langer &amp Vacanti, 2007). The fact thatno predictions as to what complications might arise in humanapplications makes the science unethical.

Anotherscience of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) using adult skincells to create an embryonic cell has so far been unsuccessful. Thelimitations of the science involve difficulty in acquiring donor eggsfor the procedure. Many people are also uncomfortable with the ideaof creating embryos and destroying them after extraction of stemcells (Lanza, Langer &amp Vacanti, 2007). The claim that SCNT couldbe used in human cloning raises a lot of ethical concerns. The issueof human cloning is not accepted by the general public and thescientific community as well. The ethical issues also involve whethercloned individuals would devalue human life.


Koepsell, D. (2007). Theethics of genetic engineering. Centre for inquiry.

Lanza, R. P., Langer, R. S., &ampVacanti, J. (2007). Principlesof tissue engineering.Burlington, MA: Elsevier Academic Press.

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