Hoot, the renowned book that won a Newbery Honor award due to the belief that business should never precede over the environment. Hoot soon transformed into a movie regarding a trio of kids who were concerned for endangered owls. These owls were living in the boroughs that were soon to be casted away by a business who was building a Mother Paula’s All-American Pancake House in Coconut Cove, Florida. This business ignored the owls and the impact it would have on their habit, as all they saw were money signs. These kids exposed the truth by including the company’s illegal removal of an environmental impact statement from their files. This revelation saves the owls and their habitat resulting in the pancake house no longer being built. There are many situations where businesses make an attempt to precede over the environment, such as genetic engineering. Genetic engineering is used in various ways as it can defeat some of the most difficult diseases in the world, get rid of illnesses in unborn children, potentially give someone a longer life span, and manufacture new foods for human consumption. America estimates that 70-75 percent of all processed foods available in grocery stores contain ingredients from genetically modified plants.
Genetically engineered animals can become more resistant to harmful and painful diseases, which can result in reproduction at a faster rate. These are all reasons why scientists believe genetic engineering will be an opening to many scientific breakthroughs. Although it helps our economy immensely, it can have a negative effect on our environment as well. There are many voice concerns on whether genetic engineering should be limited due to safety concerns and the impact it has on the environment. Genetically engineered animals are seen as an issue due to the testing that is involved. This process is potentially dangerous due to the risk of animals dying during experiments or being born with deformities.
Genetic Engineering will lead to many scientific breakthroughs says Samuel Osborn (Osborne,2018). An international group called Target Malaria, sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is trying to develop gene drives that will greatly reduce the population of malaria mosquitoes.Malaria is a disease that affects humans and animals due to mosquito bites. If this disease does not get treated or treated correctly symptoms become deadly as in comas, lifelong disabilities, or the cause of death.scientists have recently been successful of wiping out a population of mosquitoes in a laboratory using genetic engineering. They used a type of genetic editing called gene drive, which is a modification that spreads in order to block female reproduction. “It will still be at least five to 10 years before we consider testing any mosquitoes with gene drive in the wild, but now we have some encouraging proof that we’re on the right path,” said Andrea Crisanti a professor at Imperial College London, that helped with the mosquito experiment (Dussault,2016.This will hopefully minimize the affected people of malaria or even get rid of it for good. Another problem that genetic engineers are facing is the invasive rat and mouse population in New Zealand that have abolished ecosystems. Genetic engineers believe they will be able to engineer rodents. These rodents would only produce male offspring, which would help with population.
Genetic engineering of humans have great potential as it can help those destined to inherit serious, incurable diseases or give humans the choice to modify for future generations says Venki Ramakrishnan (Hall,2016). Parents will soon be able to design superior physical, mental and psychological attributes for their babies. Inthe future, people will be able to select their babies, sex, hair color, and whether they are an athlete or a bookworm. The cost to do this is around $100,000 for each gene drive the parents select. Gene editing on humans is a very serious matter as it cannot be interchangeable; the genetically modified genes will move on for generations. On November 17, 2017, Brian Madeux was injected with gene editing tools to cure his disability called Hunter Syndrome. According to Jocelyn Kaiser Hunter syndrome results from a mutation in a gene for an enzyme that cells need to break down certain sugars. When the enzyme is defective or missing, the sugars build up and can cause developmental delays, organ problems, brain damage, and early death. The idea of gene editing is to modify Brian’s liver cells into a factory to make the enzyme missing in hunter syndrome (Kaiser,2017). Madeux was not the first person to undergo gene editing, in trials several years ago genetic engineers used gene editing to protect patients from HIV.They were able to do this by harvesting their patients blood cells and disrupting a gene in them and then transfusing the cells back into the patients. Even though it is a very slow process, if done correctly it can be very effective as it can change people’s perspective on the world, the way people view themselves and change the gene structure of future generations.
Even though Genetic Engineering is a gateway to new technology, and could possibly change the life of humans, it could have a negative effect on the environment and ecosystems. All ecosystems are connected by a complex web of animal and plant relationships, a chain which can be easily interrupted. Experts say, it’s extremely challenging, to accurately predict the effects of a single extinction on an ecosystem. Dr. O’ Connor Giles states To engineer an extinction is to wade into the unknown. Giles proclaims that changing something made by nature can be very dangerous due to every animal having specific traits and specific attributes to the environment that can easily affect other species. For an example, humans consider spiders to be a pest and wouldn’t mind getting rid of them. If there was a way to genetically modify spiders to only produce male offspring then this would terminate spiders. If spiders are extinct then flies, bugs and other insects will overpopulate due to the lack of spiders.Another example of an insect that people wouldn’t mind getting rid of are bees. According to Maddie Moate They are critical pollinators, they pollinate 70 of the around 100 crop species that feed 90% of the world. Honey bees are responsible for $30 billion a year in crops. That’s only the start. We may lose all the plants that bees pollinate, all of the animals that eat those plants and so on up the food chain. Which means a world without bees could struggle to sustain the global human population of 7 billion. Our supermarkets would have half the amount of fruit and vegetables, (Future, 2014). If genetic engineers gene drive bee’s, it will lead them to extinction as human life would be a catastrophe, we would not be able to feed the population around the world.
Gene editing in animals can be dangerous but gene editing in humans can affect human life immensely. It’s important to recall that many aspects of human appearance, and behavior involves around a large numbers of genes, and are heavily influenced by environmental and social conditions. Scientists have successfully created animals with modified traits, but only a few selected animals have been tested. Genetic engineers are very confident in proving that gene editing could help the human race evolve. Dr. Nelson, co founder of the conservation ethic group, states Gene editing in humans can be very dangerous as different attributes could form and there is not enough testing to prove that this would be an ethical decision. I am not sure there is anything I see in our culture that would lead me to be confident that we can do this well or wisely,” (Gene,2016).
There are multiple safety concerns on genetically modified foods for human consumption. More than half of foods in stores are genetically modified. Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with genetically modified foods,(AAEM,2019). This includes infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs. The AAEM has asked physicians to advise all patients to avoid genetically modified foods. If genetic testing is not properly attended to than our ecosystem will change dramatically as we could lose important species that help keep the world stable.
I believe genetic engineering is a great way to advance technology. It would be very fascinating to see what genetic engineering could do in the future. Although I would like to see what’s in hold for the future of genetic engineering, I don’t necessarily agree with it. Testing animals to make sure gene drives are safe for humans is not the right thing to do as those animals are living species just like us. There are many insects, mammals, reptiles, and other species that humans consider pests but, it is not our right to judge what lives and what dies. Many people don’t know the significance of each species and that’s what gives them reasoning to genetically modify a certain species to only produce male offspring that would lead their species into extinction. Everything living on the earth has a specific job to do in our ecosystem, we cannot take away their natural abilities as every species have a specific ability to do a specific job.
Genetic engineering on humans is a topic that many argue that it should not be around as it takes away the natural beauty of life. Everyone has different opinions on genetically modified gene drives in humans and in my opinion it is a great way to get rid of certain diseases that humans tackle in their everyday life but, do it at your own risk. It has not been proved that gene drives will be safe for humans as they just started test subjects. If gene drives on humans are a success then there must be limitations. People should not be able to gene drive their kids because they want them to have blue eyes, or have intelligence, or even be athletic. Gene drives in humans should be taken seriously and should only be used for medical reasons. There are 80 diseases in the world and being able to Cure these diseases will benefit the world tremendously due to it being one of the main causes of human deaths. As long as there are limitations to what a genetic engineer is able to do with human genetics, then there shouldn’t be a reason of not having it around.
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