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Genome Project Essay, Research Paper
Adam and Eve were doomed for trying to be like god, this is the same damnation mankind is headed to. Everyone s dream is to have absolute power and control of everything. The genome project and DNA engineering gives man the ability to create life and customize life to his specific needs of likes. So how good is too good? Man s ability to make life or create perfect human beings so they can be in a state of Utopia will disturb the balance of nature. Every individual, every child born on earth is unique in it s own way, not only by looks but also by their character, their DNA. Changing this by producing two of the same kind, of which one is produced in the laboratory, unbalances nature.
A clone is a cell, a group of cells, or an organism produced by asexual reproduction, which contains genetic information identical to the parent cell or organism. Although some organisms produce asexually naturally, the first artificial cloning by humans were plants developed from grafts and stem cuttings. Cloning involving very complex laboratory techniques is a relatively recent scientific advancement in today s world. Among these is the Genome Project, which involves the research and support of Physical Mapping and DNA Sequencing. This would enable Humans to reproduce babies that what most parents want. Completing this DNA sequencing and Physical mapping would enable us to change everything in a new born baby to the likes of the parents e.g. IQ, Color, Strength, looks, gender, etc.
The Human Genome Project (HGP) is a research program for analyzing the structure of the Human DNA. This is achieved by determining the location of the one hundred thousand genes, and finding the sequence of 3 billion base pairs. In the United States of America, this project is overseen by 2 federal Agencies, the National Institute of Health (NIH) through its National Center of Genome Research (NHGRI) and Office of Health and Environmental Research (OHER). Their major goals are to: Mapping and sequencing DNA of the human Genome; mapping and sequencing the DNA of model organisms; computerized data collection; storage and handling of the information, addressing related Ethical, Legal, and Social implications. They recognized that mapping and sequencing the human genome would impact everyone s life. They questioned how this new genetic information should be interpreted and used, who should have access to it, they are concerned that the information might result in anxiety, stigmatization, discrimination.
The Human Genome Project has been used for the cloning of genes responsible for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, retinoblastoma, cystic fibrosis, and neurofibromatosis. If other diseases like these are isolated, biologists can learn about the gene s pathology of disorders. For example, before geneticists cloned the Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) gene, to confirm the diagnosis was expensive and very uncomfortable, the tests were also inadequate to detect carriers. But now, with only a blood sample, geneticists can detect most mutations associated with DMD rapidly. The genome information can be used to detect any gene mutations likely to happen to future generations of a family.
It helps to predict which individuals have an increase susceptibility to diseases such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes, which result from complex instructions between genes and the environment. When biologists compare the human genome with the genomes of other organisms, they may gain an insight into molecular evolution including human evolution. (New tools for tomorrow s health research, 1992). Biologists could use the genes to compare to other genes of other species, they may get more information or perhaps even closer to finding out more about the human evolution. The HGP not only helped in the medical field, but also in technology advancement. Its biggest challenge is to find faster ways to map DNA, which will yield way to faster development of technology. HGP provides way for new job opportunities in biotechnology, health care, computing and information storage.
When Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, it was a symbolic representation of technology and science being misused. It shows that everything has a good side and a bad side to it. Mankind is not ready for the consequences it may have from HGP. In the book, Frankenstein represents all the scientists and the monster they created as their invention. Before misfortune tainted my mind, and changed its bright vision of extensive usefulness into glummy and narrow reflections upon self. (Frankenstein, p. 22). This shows that Frankenstein remembered his happy childhood before he was struck with the idea of creation. As mentioned earlier, genetic information may be used to predict sensitivities to various industrial and environmental agents. The damages of misuse and the potential of personal threats to the personal privacy should not be taken lightly. (to know ourselves. U.S. dept. of health. )
Gene transfer should never be undertaken in an attempt to enhance of improve human beings Somatic cell enhancements engineering would threaten important life values in two ways: it could be medically hazardous, in that risks could exceed the potential benefits and the procedure therefore could cause harm. And it could be morally precarious, in that it would require moral decisions our society is not now ready to make, and it could lead to an increase in inequality and discriminatory practices. (Genetics and Human Malleability. French Heanderson 2-1990)
Using the information provided by Human Genome Project (HGP), a person s history of Genetic Disorder, insurance will refuse to give him insurance coverage. Only you have your combination of looks, personality, and behavior. As the saying goes, they broke the mold when you were made! There is no one in the world exactly like you. (YOUR GENES, YOUR CHOICES. Bateer). Would like to have someone just like you created artificially? Someone who thinks and acts like you? What if you have the same interests and have conflicts? Having two of the same person, one being of a laboratory birth is certainly going to unbalance nature. Who has the right to know about the info gained by HGP, when he or she goes for genetic testing? Does a girl at the age of 10 have to know that she has Hunnington s disease? For one second, one might think she is happy and needs to know this information, so she can make important decisions ahead of time. But the fact is she cannot know ahead of time. How will she react to the test results. She might be too young to cope with it. Also keeping this information secret is hard. If the insurance companies found out about the information they will deny her coverage in their policies. Also to get this information the girl needs to go through extensive testing, and a Genetic Linkage study, which involves the girl to ask most of her relatives multiple questions, which could be a heavy burden on her.
Genetic Information leads to a lot of discrimination. Using HGP, people can produce the perfect baby. If a family, especially countries where females are of a lesser importance then males, found out that the child they are about to have is a female, then they would have an abortion, which is taking a life away. In the future people can use HGP to change physical and mental states of a newborn baby. They could make it taller, stronger, smarter, change the skin tone, the eye color and hair color, possibilities are endless. But if everyone were to do this there will be no balance. They can bring the dead back to life by using their DNA of the dead, and put it into a newborn. This is not good, if someone of harmful intentions decides to bring someone like Hitler back to life. Genetic testing is not 100% accurate. The probability of erroneous results from a genetic test is small but not zero, false-positive or false-negative results can occur because of technical abnormalities or human error. Some Tests such as that for Cystic Fribrosis cannot detect all of the mutations associated with the disorders. So where is the billions of dollars of funding going into?
The Human Genome Project and DNA cloning is a weapon aimed for total destruction of mankind. Just like the atom bomb, created for national security, yet once dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, by the United States of America, caused the lose of thousands of innocent lives and hundreds to follow by mutilations due to the aftermath and the radiation. If HGP is not restricted now, it will have a more negative impact on the world then a positive one. It might be used to create a super race. Man cannot and should not play god by trying to create life the way they want it, leave god s job to him.
New tools for tomorrow s health research, September 1992.
To know ourselves. U.S. Dept. of Health May 1995.
Genetics and Human Malleability, French Heanderson February 1992
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