Essay Evolution Of Human Genetic Engineering

1105 Words May 1st, 2015 null Page
Human genetic engineering is the process by which scientists and medical experts alter the DNA of a living, human cell. Human genetic engineering essentially has two basic forms: somatic and germline. Somatic engineering targets specific genes within the body without affecting the genes in the eggs or sperm. The objective of this type of human genetic engineering is to treat an existing condition. The important aspect of this is that it does not alter the individual´s entire genetic makeup. The second type is germline engineering, which targets the genes in eggs, sperm, or embryos in early stages of development. The genetic modifications made affect every cell created afterwards in the developing embryo. Germline human genetic engineering also means that the modifications are passed on to all future generations if the individual goes on to have offspring. Due to this aspect, this method tends to be more controversial because the modifications made are passed on to successive generations, whereas somatic human genetic engineering only affects one specific individual.
Groundbreaking advances in the field of human genetic engineering have finally been made. In the United States, the first cases of human germline genetic modification resulting in normal healthy children have been reported. This is monumental in the field of genetics as it provides the first solid evidence that germline genetic modification may not have any negative repercussions, at least thus far. Through the…

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