The Pros And Cons Of Human Genetic Engineering

1105 Words 4 Pages
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 …show more content…
Much of its potential has yet to be seen, as progress is quite slow even with advanced technologies. Copious amounts of thorough research must be conducted before there is any hope of human genetic engineering becoming a regular practice. In its current state it would be nothing far from experimentation, which is especially unjustified with human subjects. A topic such as this creates much controversy, which tends to act as an impediment to maximizing it potential benefits. The existence of extremist views from both ends of the spectrum are a given with a controversial topic such as this. Dr. David King is the director of the Genetics Forum and has a Ph.D. in molecular biology. King does not necessarily have a problem with human genetic engineering as a whole; in fact he supports its current use of gene therapy for disease treatment in non-reproductive cells. David King presents a proposal from that of James Watson, an American molecular biologist and geneticist, best known as one of the co-discoverers of the structure of DNA. Watson advocates the use of human genetic engineering for human enhancement. King seems to especially despise Watsons claim that “‘…if we could make better humans by knowing how to add genes, why shouldn’t we do it?’” (King 1) The author references the dangers of this form of human genetic engineering and its effect on society. Such that it would create a society in which there are “GenRich” and “natural” people, the few elite who can afford genetic engineering and the vast majority who cannot. The danger of such is that the two classes “will become... entirely separate species with no ability to crossbreed, and with as much romantic interest in each other as a current human would have for a chimpanzee” (King 1). King sees this as an inevitable fate of human society if we don’t act now. His fear is that

Related Documents