Genetic Engineering: OLG's Harman and Rishi

Social Impact

Genetic Engineering has been around since the 1900’s. Socially, Genetic Engineering is being used in many ways to help benefit humans. For instance, with genetic engineering humans would be able to alter/design their babies by the way they want them to either look or act. This is also known as creating your own super/designer baby. Designer babies are created by the alteration of the DNA. For example, let's pretend you and your wife always dreamt about wanting to have a baby boy, with nice blue eyes and luscious blond hair. With genetic engineering, you and your wife can make that dream become true. A genetic engineer can help by changing the babies eye colour, the babies hair colour and the way the baby were to act, with just replacing its DNA with the DNA from another baby, which already has the features you always dreamt of. Now wouldn’t that be cool? You get to design your own baby with what you want and the way you want it to be done. However, it would not be that easy, since it would cost you a lot of money, and the alteration of the cells, may lead to a new disease. Now would you want to risk your baby's life, in order to make yourself happy?

Moving on, with Genetic Engineering you don’t know what else it can cause. The alteration of your cells, may help you to cure one type of disease but you never truly know if another disease is being formed. Now, that may not always be the case. Genetic Engineering can lead to smaller things like diabetes, which can be cured with minimal equipment, or bigger things like cancer, which require a lot of medical assistance. The ability to imagine what might go wrong with Genetic Engineering or the technology used to help cure the disease is limited by the current incomplete understanding of physiology, genetics, and nutrition. All of this is only taken into account, if the surgery goes as planned. However, something could always go wrong during a surgery, especially one regarding your cells and DNA since they are so small. Accidents in human genetic engineering could cause problems ranging from minor medical problems, to death. Now would you want to risk your life during a surgery, if you knew there a good chance you might not make it out alive? I know I wouldn’t. However, some people may totally disagree with me, and tell me that if you had an incurable disease, and the only way to help yourself is to perform a surgery associated with genetic engineering, why wouldn’t you take the chance, that may never come up again.

Ecological Impact

An economic impact that seems to be a logical consequence to genetic engineering is that it could only be for the rich. Genetic engineering is a high profile that should not be taken for granted because of the delicate attention to detail that is needed. However, the rich could also use this to their advantage and modify themselves to be immortal. There are two very clear and possible problems with immortality. They are: People with less money would unfortunately have to face death, the wealthy would take advantage and modify themselves even more. From those two possibilities, many more serious question and even tougher decisions for society. For example, you have a family of four, your children are twins. With the advanced technology within your time period allows humans to genetically modify themselves for a “very generous price”. As a parent, you would always want the best for your child and in this scenario, it is avoiding death. However, you and your significant other are working on low-paid jobs and are not genetically modified yourself, meaning you do not have the same advantages like durability as your colleagues. How would a parent in that time period live knowing that they cannot prevent the death of their son/daughter? Adding onto that, what would you do if you had enough money for one genetic modification? Would you choose you, your significant other, or one of your twins? Which of the twins deserves to be genetically modified over the other? How would this affect the kid's lifestyle? These are tough decisions nobody wants to make.

Effects on Available Jobs

Moving on, it could affect work for other humans as well. For instance, you are an owner of a company and you have to decide on two people, one that is genetically modified to be fit for the job and one that is not modified but also fit for the job. The logical option would be to pick someone that was genetically modified over the unmodified human being. This is a problem for the economy because it would affect the unemployment rate and could influence individuals by telling them that they would need to be genetically modified to get a good job and be hired, meaning they would have to pay as much as $100,000. Moreover, it could affect the amount jobs required as well. This could lead to a drastically higher unemployment rate due to the current world population and the uncontrollable birthrate among human beings. With less people working, means more people in poverty because the people without jobs will eventually run out of money to maintain their living.

The cost of genetic engineering may be harmful for humans, but it is a money maker for the farming industry. As for farming, genetic engineering is vital for humanity. It provides larger crop size, less use of pesticides, faster growth, and many more benefits. By using less pesticides, it instantly saves money for the farmer, allowing them to create a greater profit. This relates because the greater the profit the farmer gets, the more wealthy the farmer will be. Putting all things aside, the global farm income is $78.4 billion and on average income has increased $100 per hectare. But the downside of this, is the seeds of the crop could be very expensive for farmers and third-world countries.

Environment Impacts

A major role genetic engineering is apart of is genetically modified foods. Nowadays, most farmers choose to genetically modify their crops for the advantages it could give their business. However, the disadvantages should be taken into account as well when deciding to make such a drastic change.

The advantages include: an increased crop size, faster growth, more effective fertilizer, less pesticides needed, less water needed, longer lasting products, more cost effective, nutritional values could be enhanced, and even crop breeding. To clarify crop breeding, it is when parts the DNA of one organism is extracted and combined with the DNA of another plant. Therefore, a new type of crop is created with more benefits.

As for the disadvantages of genetically modified foods are: traits from modified crops could spread to unmodified crops, there is an increase of herbicide-tolerant plants, crop breeding, more use of pesticides, and affecting ecosystems for other animals. When traits from a modified crop has the possibility to spread to a plant that is not modified, it could lead to new allergens and toxins that can harm humans and animals when consumed. This is very unsafe because the two organisms have not been mated together, therefore the genetic engineers do not have an idea of what may occur.

Genetic engineering can also affect animals within the vicinity because it makes them more vulnerable to the diseases that have been genetically modified. This could cause an outbreak of disease to other species as well, because every animal is another's prey. Furthermore, it could affect the biodiversity in the ecosystem. This can occur when all the plants are contaminated with either herbicides or the diseases that could have spread, making the ecosystem uninhabitable for the animals. This will cause the species to move to a new location, which would end up over populating the area.

Explore how matter and energy interact and are transferred through systems.

Genetically modified foods can create a variety of health risks regarding our human body systems, for example leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut syndrome occurs when tight junctions in the gut (controls what passes through the lining of the small intestine), does not work properly. Which then lets nutrients leak into the bloodstream bringing up the name leaky gut syndrome. Besides the many diseases that arise after consuming genetically modified foods, allergies can impact/harm our immune system as well. According to www.anh-usa.org, “Allergies have already skyrocketed in the US, and with the introduction of GE soy in the UK, soy related allergies rose to 50%.” This shows that allergies can break out through any sort of GE food around the world.

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