Genetic Engineering Research paper
1) McPheerson, J. (2008). Effects of genetic engineering. Date retrieved April 11, 2011
from Disabled World website:
This is an article that details what genetic engineering can do for us and what it can do to us. This article has no bias or opinion but it simply states the facts of genetic engineering, what it can do for society, and explains how some fear it. The article also highlights mainly on the concerns of genetic engineering. The article also sheds some light on possibly benefits genetic engineering can do for society too.
My assessment on this article is as follows: I found the article to be well written and planned out in an organized way. The flow of ideas and explanations about a few genetic engineering technologies is informative. Readers and anyone aware of genetic engineering needs to be aware of the potential harm genetics can cause to society. It is good to see that the article has some pros and cons towards genetic engineering.
2) Iowa Public Television. (2004). Explore more genetic engineering. Date retrieved
April 11, 2011 from Iowa Public Television website:
The above-mentioned web link explores the in-depth of each section of Genetic Engineering topics. The topics listed are cloning ban, stem cells, fields of genes, and many more. Almost everything that covers the entirety of the Genetic engineering technology is covered on this website. The website is also an extension of the website's television show, so a visual format is available for viewers to learn more about genetic engineering.
Based on the above summary, I feel this is a very informational website. There are a lot of visuals (i.e.: videos and pictures) so show anyone who is interested in genetic engineering to learn everything they can learn. The topics are separated into different categories, which I found to be very organized and easy to follow if you want to explore specific contents about a particular genetic engineering topic. The webpage is so simple to use that it appears to be suitable for all ages.
3) Union of Concerned Scientists. (2002). Risks of genetic. Date retrieved April 11, 2011
from Union of Concerned Scientists website: .org/food_and_agriculture/science_and_impacts/impacts_genetic_.
The focus of this webpage is on the risks of genetic engineering's effects on the environment wherever this technology is being done. Most people and even scientists don't know the real long-term affects on society but they do have some theories on what could happen. Based on some short-term experiments the scientists can provide the possible risks of what can happen with things being used for genetically engineered technology. This website provides some of that information and how the scientists feel about it.
I believe those accepting of genetically engineered technology should know the risks. Experiments and testing with scientists' observations are generally the best opinions/facts to stick with since there are often proven conclusions and results to determine what could happen in the long-term future. This website is an excellent source to check before someone should fully be agreeing to use genetically engineered technology for almost everything.
4) Steinbrecher R. (1998). What is genetic engineering?. Date retrieved April 11, 2011
from Genetic Engineering Network website:
This website describes what genetic engineering is and what exactly it does. The essay on this website also details what each term is that is part of genetic engineering for example: cell, chromosomes, and some other definitions. There is also a definition of genetic engineering (GE). Later on in the essay there are detail about how gene transfer is done, what plasmids are, and some unanswered questions and uncertainties about the technology.
I feel this is a well informative essay to learn all the basic information on genetic engineering. It's an easy to follow guide on this technology and it also allows the common citizen to be aware of what they can do if they disagree with GE's existence. Knowing the definitions to other terms involving genetic engineering is also a bonus to keep the reader on track with the essay as those terms are used later on in the essay.
5) Keim B. (2008). The first genetically modified human embryo: Advance or
Abomination. Date retrieved April 12, 2011 from Wired Science website:
This website reports on the first modified human embryo created by scientists and how those scientists feel the future of the embryo should be treated. There are some details about the modified human embryo and what it can do for scientists' research if future experiments can continue. There are also some consequences shown in the article that can occur if future research is done. Then the website leads to other related websites on the human embryo with more details revolving around this new research.
This website doesn't have a lot to it. It is a short article to say what it has to say about the scientists and their discovery. The rest is up to the reader to decide how they feel on the future experiments and reproduction of the embryos. It is interesting to find out that scientists have gone as far as making their own modified human embryos. Scientists are getting closer and closer to becoming gods and producing human clones. Reading an article like this one really shows us how close the genetic engineering technology is advancing in recent years and how close some of the things we fear from this technology might come true soon enough.
Genetic engineering will change society. "Genetic engineering (GE) is used to take genes and segments of DNA from one species, e.g. fish, and put them into another species, e.g. tomato." (Steinbrecher, 1998) This technology can greatly change society for the good and for the bad because some of the resulted long-term effects are unknown until that particular example of genetic engineered experiment or product has been released into society for a long period of time. Some products may have a positive effect like altering genes to get rid of diseases and any other unwanted characteristics or traits in a human or animal, and some may have a negative effects, for example, placing chemicals in food humans eat everyday so that the food does not go rotten and scientists along with company owners can mass produce these food products to sell in bulk and earn a hefty profit, yet the genetically engineered and chemically filled food could have some potential health risks to humans that eat it. The unknown long-term results are genetic engineered cloning of humans. Most of society does not want this experiment to be done because they feel scientists are "playing god," but no one really knows what effect a cloned human can bring to society as it is born, grows in a community, and eventually dies, while possibly breeding new human babies before that cloned human leaves this world.
There are benefits to genetic engineering that can change the way we see things or how it allows us to cure certain diseases and manipulate cells and DNA. Genetic engineering is important for many reasons as more research is being done with it. Cloning animals and potentially human beings sometime in the future is possible to occur to allow people to clone animals they adore as their pet to live on even if the original dies one day, and this includes humans if it ever exists. In the early 2000s scientists discovered some new tumor suppressor gene that can cure certain cancers, and as this research is investigated more throughout the years then there can be a possible way to cure most cancers in people. Bioremediation processes of genetically engineered bacteria can be created with the proper research to be fed into contaminated areas filled with pollution, while the bacteria can be created to break down the pollutants to give humankind a healthier environment. (Iowa Public television, 2004)
"Genetic engineering could be used to enhance people's lives, but it could also be used to harm people's lives." (McPheerson, 2008) Some people see the good side of this technology while some see the bad in this technology. As the facts tell, there is not really only a good or only a bad side of genetic engineering. This technology has its benefits and its consequences on humanity. Proper and effective research for example can yield in more accurate possibility of manipulating DNA. Manipulating DNA can even result in a doctor changing a child's genes before birth to give a mother a very healthy baby when it's born, and to even alter the characteristics and personality a baby will have while it grows. This DNA manipulation will also take part in family history and hereditary diseases, to eliminate any unwanted diseases (i.e.: cancer, Alzheimer) and alter a disease in a human's genetic predisposition. Existing diseases (i.e.: AIDs or cancer) can be fought and one day removed with genetic engineering. Crystic fibrosis is a leading hereditary cause of death with statistically one in every two thousand children and young adults among Caucasian Americans. Genetic engineering can fight that disease and many more. Other benefits are altering plants and food to allow for nutrition and necessary vitamins to form in these products for animal and human consumption for a healthier lifestyle. (Jerry Mcpheerson)
On the other hand, there are many concerns and risks that scientists and society believes can occur with altering genes and battling diseases, there are even concerns with genetically modified plants and food. There is a chance that if a negative effect happens with an altered gene in an organism, then the process may be unaltered and that organism will be stuck forever with the negative effects. Ethical issues arise with genetic engineering especially. Society mainly believes that scientists are "playing god" and are doing what they should not be doing. Most of society believes that humans, genes, and anything else natural should just remain in their natural state. Genetic engineering can also be destructive with terrorist groups if this technology reaches the wrong hands. Powerful biological weapons can be developed to target humans with certain genes or cause humans to be resistant against certain medicine that can cure them, and this weapon can be developed rapidly to wipe out a large number of societies in a short amount of time. (Jerry McPheerson)
Most technology is reversible and can be destroyed/turned off if that technology fails or is harmful to society and does not do any good for anyone. With genetic engineering, this type of technology is different from other technology as it cannot simply be turned off or removed from society. Scientists and society can try to destroy everything and anything that had its genes altered (i.e.: animals, food, plants, humans) but this may involve complexity because once genes are modified in most things, humans may already be exposed to these things and most of society may already have some of those effects in them, so it'll be hard to determine who is a carrier of this technology or not. The major irreversible genetic engineered products are contained in anything humans and animals consume, and once this is done it is nearly impossible to take back. An exposed animal or human may already be at certain risks, which can include the following: new allergens, antibiotic resistance, production of new toxins, concentration of toxins, and unknown harms of health. All of these can be very harmful and dangerous to organisms, humans and animals, and may lead to horrible long-term illnesses or even death. (Union of Concerned Scientists, 2002)
Since genetic engineering is not accepted by all of society because of the possible harm is can cause to society. There are a few things a member of society can do to avoid and maybe get rid of anymore genetic engineering experiments, products, etc. A person of society can avoid any genetically modified food, (i.e.: anything with soya and maize in it) buy any type of organic food products, and get the attention of the public to let everyone in the community know about the harms. (i.e.: local newspaper, collect articles describing the harms, join a local environment group) (Steinbrecher, 1998) Scientists will always be finding new ways to use genetic engineering technology while teamed up with companies also interested in this technology as long as no one does anything about it. Scientists will eventually create things like their own modified human embryo, which some scientists did create back in the year 2007. The creation raised some ethical issues but the scientists wanted to raise the embryo to research some human diseases to find possible cures for them. The scientists also wanted the embryos to be reproduced to possibly prevent diseases, and used to customize physical appearance and personality traits, but the continuation of embryo growth would result in a lot of risks of human life and many trial and error experiments that may not end too well. (Keim, 2008)
It is up to society, scientists, and companies paying these scientists for the future of genetic engineering. If most of society does nothing to try and stop this technology from advancing, then genetic engineering will continue to be researched by scientists while the companies make profit off the technology. If nothing is done and genetic engineering continues on for many years, we can probably see more and more genetically engineered food, plants and animals in large amounts to feed most of the world, yet only the rich countries will probably be able to afford these foods that may have better nutrition. Most diseases that do not have a cure will be cured or removed by genetic engineering. Humans will be cloned and some humans may be experimented on. The cloning of humans has an unknown effect but the results can be either good for humanity with intelligent clones to bring new and better ideas to society, or the clones can be tossed around as outcasts, while the clones feel a mix of anger and hate and seek revenge on the world. Biological weapons may be another factor in this world to destroy most of the world and certain people in the world might be wiped out. Genetic engineering will greatly change society, but it depends on society that uses this technology to affect the world and the future.
Iowa Public Television. (2004). Explore more genetic engineering. Date retrieved April
11, 2011 from Iowa Public Television website:
Keim B. (2008). The first genetically modified human embryo: Advance or abomination.
Date retrieved April 12, 2011 from Wired Science website:
McPheerson, J. (2008). Effects of genetic engineering. Date retrieved April 11, 2011
from Disabled World website:
Steinbrecher R. (1998). What is genetic engineering?. Date retrieved April 11, 2011 from
Genetic Engineering Network website:
Union of Concerned Scientists. (2002). Risks of genetic. Date retrieved April 11, 2011
from Union of Concerned Scientists website: .org/food_and_agriculture/science_and_impacts/impacts_genetic_.