Ethical Implications Of Genetic Engineering

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Genetic engineering or genetic modification is the manipulation of a genome using biotechnology, and it has come leaps and bounds within the last three decades. Back then Louise Brown, the first test tube baby, was born and was crushing the ethical dilemma of whether in vitro fertilization (IVF) was safe and useful. Today there are new ethical implications being brought forth because of what genetic engineering is now capable of. It is now possible to essentially snip out part of a person’s genome and replace it with a more desirable gene. This is possible through molecular cloning to create a DNA sequence or by synthesizing the DNA and then inserting into the organism. This procedure has been done to many children to save them from chronic …show more content…
Cell, tissue, and organ engineering are many major benefits of genetic engineering because new tissues and organs can and are being grown and produced to replace ones that are not working properly. This is very beneficial because there are 100,000 people on the waiting list for an organ transplant in the United States, and in one year only around 12,000 organ transplants take place (Olson, 2007, para. 4). There is a large shortage of organs for transplant with so many people waiting, and genetic engineering is a great solution for this major problem. There are many ways that genetic engineering can help with people waiting for organ transplants, and one of them is using hybrid organs that are made from engineering a person’s genetics. “Patients with only a 10 to 20 percent probability of survival regained normal kidney function and left the hospital in good health because the hybrid kidney prevented the events that typically follow kidney failure: infection, sepsis, and multi-organ failure” (Greenwood, 2005, p. 45). This branch of genetic engineering of hybrid organs uses cell transplants to keep patients alive and well while they wait for an organ transplant by imitating the cells of the organ the person is waiting for. Another way genetic engineering can help with the problem of organ transplants is through xenotransplant. This is where animal organs can be substituted for human organs to use for transplants. This process is the most likely to occur with pigs because of their organs are around the same shape and size of a human’s. Genetic engineering is used in this process by slightly altering the genome of the pigs and changing the cell structure to remove carbohydrates that would otherwise make the human body reject the organ (Olson, 2007; Weber & Fussenegger, 2011). This use of genetic engineering can help to greatly decrease

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