Gene Therapy And Genetic Engineering: Should It Be Approved In The Us?

3126 words - 13 pages

Introduction
"Fifteen advanced-stage Parkinson's patients (three from the UK and 12 from France) were followed up a year after being injected with low, mid and high doses of a modified virus containing genes required for brain cells to produce dopamine, as part of the phase I/II study. A lack of dopamine causes patients with Parkinson's to experience tremors and difficulty in coordinating their movement.” The researchers observed that after receiving the treatment the patients' scores on movement tests improved on average by 30 percent.(Gene Therapy Special News Items, 1.)” Genetic engineering, and its form dealing with humans, gene therapy, is a process in which genes are replaced or "tweaked" to acquire a certain trait or cure an illness or disease. This can be performed in the fetal stage through adulthood. While genetic engineering and gene therapy can help prevent disease and create the "ideal human," these scientific advancements may also affect the worth of future generations as well as continuing to divide social classes.
What is it
It is unknown to the common human what genetic engineering and gene therapy are, as these are widely known subjects spoken upon with everyday people. In the early stages of man, fire, weapons, and electricity were discovered, though today modern technology is trying to adapt humans to their environment instead of inventing tools to make everyday tasks simpler. “Genetic engineering is the process of manually adding new DNA to an organism (What is genetic engineering and how does it work?).” In other words, genetic engineering can be described as adding a desirable trait from one organism with the trait to another in a completely separate species without the trait. The desired gene is taken from an organism with that gene, and put into the genetic material of another organism without it. “When gene transfer occurs, the resulting organism is called a Tran genetic or a GMO(genetically modified organism, 1).” An organism that has been treated with gene therapy is commonly referred to as a GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) which describes an organism that is not “natural” due to it’s “tweaked” gene or genes. "Experimental technique that uses genes to treat or prevent disease. In the future, this technique may allow doctors to treat a disorder by inserting a gene into a patient's cell instead of using drugs or surgery." The future of Genetic Engineering is predicted to save many lives if deemed safe and effective. However, consequences must be kept in mind if therapy fails, the body has an unpredicted reaction, or if there are side effects that are non-reversible. The social and economic gap would greatly increase resulting in the emergence of “genetic castes”. A caste can be described as “any rigid system of social distinctions.(Caste)”. Physical features as well as abilities would make it easy to distinguish which class a person belongs to. Children would be treated like objects while their parents pick and...

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