Genetic Engineering

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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Genetic Engineering In the 20th century we experienced many great changes and scientific advances, the discovery of the Genetic Engineering is arguably the greatest breakthroughs we have encountered. However, the twentieth century society was not prepared or even willing at times to accept the moral and ethical controversies genetic engineering was creating. Maybe in the 21st century we will overcome the controversies and settle upon a common decision.

To understand Genetic Engineering we must first understand how genes work. Genes are transmitted through chromosomes that exist in the nucleus of every living organism's cells. Each chromosome is made up of fine strands of deoxyribonucleic acids, or DNA. The information carried on the DNA determines the cells function within the organism. Sex cells are the only cells that contain a complete DNA map of the organism; therefore, the structure of a DNA molecule or combination of DNA molecules determines the shape, form, and function of the offspring.

Genetic engineering, is defined as "the use or manipulation of an individuals genetic material in order to produce desired characteristics or results in the same individual, other individuals of the same species, or other species,"� and if it will become a reality than it will undeniably change society's relationship with nature, medicine, and its own cultural values. It has been predicted that in the year 2020, "people will have new definitions of health and illness"�. The completion of genome mapping will allow a health plan for each person, preventing genetic disease and promoting a better life.

However, genetic engineering, also called gene splicing or gene cloning, is not being welcomed with open arms. It affects the moral values of human beings, as well as other living things. The competing goods in genetic engineering, i.e. creating a stronger, more advanced human race vs. a...

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