Genetic Engineering and Modifications

Subject: Sciences
Pages: 5
Words: 1132
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College

Sciences and in-depth knowledge about human and animal genetics have received extensive attention and reached heights that were not expected. Modifications to the genetic information and the types of outcomes have been surprising but at the same time, met with some displeasement. This sort of engineering has resulted in modified foods, animal testing and several other questionable methods that should be highly controlled and investigated (Kempken 2010).

Genetic engineering is the modification of genes in a certain way which is desired by humans. It is done on a molecular level by synthesizing DNA, generating sequences and then inserting the received product into the organism which will be the carrier of the outcome. This sort of technique has been around for several decades starting with the first cloning tries. Many people support the idea, but there are also those who say that playing God is wrong and should be off limits for humanity. The real problem is the ethical consideration and the results of such testing (Parmalee, 2010). I agree that it is sometimes needed, as the population of Earth is growing. It is a good thing that people can get more access to food and have it available for eating for longer periods of time. But at the same time, if there are negative effects on a person, it is not very productive to use toxins that might harm people. For many thousands of years people have used natural ways to grow crops and farm land. The evolution and advancement of technology have influenced the methods of how people grow and consume food. Mass production and industrialization were arranged in such a way that large number of people could be fed. This can certainly be thought to be a positive outcome.

But it is also one of the most harmful effects that mass production has had on the food industry. People started having severe allergies to products that they previously consumed and did not have a reaction to. This is because foods are genetically cross bread, so that they receive qualities they did not have before. Some plants are made more resistant to the colder climate; some are made to stay fresh longer. The technology has allowed modifying the natural order of things and it was somewhat beneficial but very detrimental in many other areas (Forman 2010). Very often, the animals will be subjects to a number of procedures that can be painful. As they cannot speak for themselves, they are thought of as perfect test subjects and this leads to a whole number of issues. The fact is that it is wrong to use animals for these purposes. It is understandable that people are becoming even more curious than before, and finding out how genetics and live organisms work is of great significance to science. The only problem is that it is unfair to test on animals because it is not their purpose.

Not only is it wrong to use animals for testing, they are being fed products that have been artificially grown. Antibiotics and other chemicals are given as food, and this results in a whole other issue. The natural foods are now separated into a different category from unnaturally grown and chemically fed. This is a sad fact, as these sorts of products lead to allergies and deceases in people. From one perspective, this sort of modification can be beneficial, as they can make new types of foods that are more nutritious and contain more vitamins. But, the negative effect on human health is a concern and should be addressed (Setlow, 2005). The inability to consider all factors and predict the outcome of these modifications has created a large array of consequences that are almost irreversible. Not only do such changes to nature affect humans but the animals, plants and general ecosystem are all influenced. The natural balance is upset and the chain of events causes more and more damage to the structure of nature (Forman 2010). Everything is very much connected and people have factored in changes that were not expected.

Presently, people are aware of the ecological footprint they have made. A better filtration system and more “nature friendly” chemicals are being used. There are many groups that specialize in determining the effects that new technology or chemicals will have on nature. A better understanding of genetics has educated people on how certain species will react. There is even potential to influence human genes and create people who are stronger, more resistant to illnesses or have some form of talent that was artificially made. This is also a very ethical question because humans are starting to experiment with nature and the necessary direction of life. It can be used in harmful ways; as such, it would be extremely wrong. But on a bright side, people could use genetic modification to better themselves and help those with severe physical and mental disabilities. Genetic predisposition to certain “incurable” illnesses would root out the cases completely. There is some talk that such modifications are already possible but it is kept secret from the society. Either way, a great deal of control is needed for such technology. There must be a separate division of government or social monitoring that would make sure genetic modification is not used to harm people or create organisms that can be used against others in war or other conflicts.

The future of technology and health of humanity lies with next generations. The awareness and acknowledgement of the problem have increased the chances at making a change for the better, and every effort must be made to reverse the harmful consequences people have put in place. There are great potential benefits for people in both their own body, as well as in foods. But it is unclear whether the benefits can outweigh the negative side of such advancement. The changes that people have made to nature are very traceable and their inability to predict the outcome is evidently harmful. The personal lives have changed and the chemicals that were used to preserve food for people have shown how dangerous it is to people’s health. This topic is extremely important in the present days because food is as necessary as oxygen. The natural order was created, so that people benefit from the energy received from fruits and vegetables. The balance has existed for thousands of years but recently, people started to experiment (Deane-Drummond 2008).

The results of genetic engineering have been successful, as it is existent in the modern world, but the long term effects are studied very little. As it has been a recent occurrence, people are not aware of the consequences that might take place. The end result is that people must limit genetic modification as much as possible and closely study the effects on health.

Works Cited

Deane-Drummond, Celia. The Ethics of Nature. Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons, 2008. Print.

Forman, Lillian. Genetically Modified Foods EBook. Edina, MN: ABDO, 2010. Print.

Kempken, Frank. Genetic Modification of Plants. New York, NY: Springer, 2010. Print.

Parmalee, Thomas. Genetic Engineering EBook. Edina, MN: ABDO, 2010. Print.

Setlow, Jane. Genetic Engineering: Principles and Methods. New York, NY: Springer, 2005. Print.