When you take a close look at the human body it is easy to see that it is not without imperfection. This means that some bodies are built with inherent flaws and others fail over time. Science has the ability to change the way that humans are made and alter the flaws that are known. This can be done through the process of human genetic engineering. Altering the technology in humans is a topic that causes a lot of controversy. Human genetic engineering is something that people are either very passionate about or opposed to completely. Differing opinions on this issue drive forward the debate.
The Positives of Human Genetic Engineering
1. End Disease
Human genetic engineering relies heavily on science in technology. It was developed to help end the spread of diseases. Using human genetic engineering it could be possible to change the way genomes are constructed to end some diseases. Genetic mutations can be to blame for certain diseases including Cystic Fibrosis, but with the help of human genetic engineering it could be possible to end this disease completely. If the complete benefits of human genetic engineering therapy are ever seen, it could have a huge impact on disease as a whole.
2. Longer Life
Without certain diseases to increase death rates and decrease life span, it would be possible for more individuals to live longer and healthier lives. This means that human genetic engineering has the potential to improve the quality of life and allow for longer life spans. Reversing some of the cellular causes for decline of the body could be possible if strides are made with human genetic engineering.
3. Eliminating Illness and Disease in Unborn Children
One of the largest benefits of genetic engineering is the prospect of helping cure illness and diseases in unborn children. Having a genetic screening with a fetus can allow for treatment of the unborn. Overtime this can impact the growing spread of diseases in future generations.
The Cons of Human Genetic Engineering
1. Ethical Issues
Many of those opposed to human genetic engineering have their opinion based on ethical views. The belief that god should have ultimate power and we should not be altering nature is what many think should halt the progression of human genetic engineering. The power to shape the human race should not be left up to us humans, because there is divine intervention at work.
2. Safety Issue
There are still many different unknowns linked to human genetic engineering. This brings up issues involving of safety. Getting genes into the human body is a complex process that could go bad very easily. The extent to the consequences if it goes bad are not fully known and could be quite devastating. The success rate is also something that brings up concern.
Some feel that more research needs to be done to further human genetic engineering technology, but others feel that this type of engineering has no place in society at all.
What is Human Genetic Engineering?
In order to obtain a full opinion on the topic of human genetic engineering, it is imperative that you gain a deeper understanding at the most basic level. It is essential that you know exactly what is meant by the concept of human genetic engineering and what it entails. This can be a very complex process, but you can break it down somewhat. In basic terms, human genetic engineering is a way to manipulate genes to make the human body closer to perfection. The altering of the genome has the ability to happen in the sperm or the egg cell. This type of genetic engineering is also referred to as germ line gene therapy and has the ability to change some of the trait’s a child is born with. The changes that are made through the child using germ line gene therapy would then be inherited traits that would be passed down for generations.
There is also another type of human genetic engineering that involves trading in a bad gene for a good one. This is done in the cells, but does not include the sex cell, which is the process of human genetic engineering refereed to as somatic cell gene therapy. To complete this process of human genetic engineering, functioning genes are fired into the human body to remove the bad function of the inferior gene. This technology does exist to some extent, but it has not been perfected and does not yet have a high success rate.
Is Human Genetic Engineering Good or Bad?
It is pretty difficult to classify such a complex issue as either good or bad. It is so much more complicated and hard to decipher than that. This issue brings up questions of ethics and often causes outrage among both sides. The only way to gain your own unbiased opinion on the topic of human genetic engineering is to look at both the pros and cons. Not everything involving this issue is a positive, but it is not all negative either.