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genetic engineering

Uploaded by twolves815 on Oct 11, 2006

Dr. Bernard D. Davis, professor of bacterial physiology at Harvard medical school in Cambridge, stated “that after twenty years of expanding experience with biotechnology with no detectable harm to humans or to the environment, this concern has turned into a good idea” (qtd. In Bender and Leon 23). Genetic engineering is defined as the scientific alteration of the structure of genetic material in living organisms. Although under heavy scrutiny, genetic engineering will someday be used to cure genetic diseases, breed enhanced plants and animals, and produce low-cost medicines.

Many diseases, including cancers, are caused by defective genes that scientists are unable to cure. Treatments that replace missing enzymes require repeated injections, and organ transplants have a high risk of rejection by the body’s immune system. With cancer causing 500,000 deaths in the United States each year alone, it is clear that new treatments are necessary. The introduction of a promising method is gene therapy-a type of treatment in which the doctor introduces a helpful gene into a patience’s cell to produce an essential protein that the patient lacks. For instance, the first gene-therapy trial was performed in September 1990 by a group of doctors on a four-year-old-girl who suffered from a rare form of cancer ¹. Using genetically modified cells for a period of time, these brave doctors gave a second chance of life to a terminally ill girl. The use of gene therapy is controversial. Some people are concerned that it may permanently alter the basic material of human beings if genes from other species are used, however, by doing so an opportunity arises to provide a spark of faith to a four-year-old girl.

Just think, waking up to a bright sunny day, treating yourself to a flavorful omelet made with cholesterol free eggs, enjoying sausages with less 99% less fat, and a glass of milk with added calcium and vitamins all without losing an ounce of taste. If genetic engineering was to be used on the farm, this would become a reality. Although genetic engineering farm animals are insufficient and needs improvement, dairy cattle can be genetically modified to increase the content of the milk protein, thus producing healthier milk to drink and in larger quantities. Also high on this list is to make cows, sheep, goats, and pigs leaner and more resistant to illnesses. By providing health attention at a young stage, farmers can reduce the costs of vaccinations,...

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Uploaded by:   twolves815

Date:   10/11/2006

Category:   Cloning

Length:   5 pages (1,159 words)

Views:   1713

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