We have come a long way in technology and science since the 1800’s typewriter. Now scientists and engineers have come up with all new amazing inventions such as the iPhone, printer, the laptop, cures for diseases we once thought we would never be able to fix, and hundreds more. Another one of these inventions is called genetic engineering.
Genetic engineering is the technique of modification, manipulating, and the reproducing of DNA and other nucleic acid molecules to change an organism or the amount of organisms. Basically, it is the manipulating of genomes using complex engineering techniques. It is called genetic engineering because it is the developed process of modifying genes. Genetic modification has actually already been tested and started by people, on plants and animals, but not yet on humans. To be specific, Genetic modification is separated in to two diverse sections: “somatic genetic modification” and “germline genetic modification.”
Somatic genetic modification will put in, cut, or change the genes in a few of the cells of the person. Usually, it would be used to decrease the likeliness the person will have a certain disease or illness when born. Although, this ‘somatic genetic modification’ technique is only approaching testing and practice level, is very dangerous and risky, and it is very expensive to test.
Germline genetic modification changes the genes in eggs, sperm, or embryos. Basically, it is the gene editing that is for reproduction. These alterations would appear in every cell of the person who developed from that gamete or embryo, and also in all subsequent generations. Germline modification has not yet been tested inside humans, but it would, unfortunately be the most consequential genetic modification. Germline modification in humans, at the moment, is forbidden according to the law in over 40 countries.
It’s hard to believe that we’re so close to being able to start custom ordering babies like it’s an all you can eat buffet. Boy or girl? Tall or short? Strong or smart? Blonde hair? Black hair? Long life? Healthy? Imagine all the new opportunities that could open up to people! The world! Our next generation! Although, like all things, there are the highs and lows to genetic engineering. It might seem like all magical unicorns, sparkly rainbows, and the solution to all world problems because, but it goes a little deeper than that.
These days people seem to do things without fully understanding and considering the consequences in it, such as the consequences in genetic engineering. There might be new, worse diseases and symptoms that are created from the genetic engineering, it could cause many arguments between countries and risk lives, and it could take away us human’s uniqueness individually.
Yay! Our kid will grow up with a very low chance of getting cancer! But, then now your child has a different disease we don’t have a cure for. Cancer, Ebola, heart attack, breast cancer, yeah these are very dangerous illnesses and there are thousands more, but we have already created many cures for most of them. Do you not believe that starting genetic engineering might be the perfect opportunity for other diseases and symptoms to crawl out and contaminate lives. Also, we wont have any idea of what it is or how to fix it before the illness spreads and kills more lives. Genetic Engineering can help humans to evolve and be better, but it raises the bar ten times higher for chances of side effects. Scientists and doctors already have the heavy burden of solving the existing diseases, let’s not add more to it.
Hundreds of protests, weapon inventions, laws, discrimination, and other dangerous ideas have caused many wars between countries and places. For example, World War 1 was started because Ireland, France, Russia, and Britain were an aligned group called the Triple Entente, but Germany, Austria, and Hungary were an alliance known as Central Powers. So, later when Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo on 28th June 1914, it caused the beginning of many events which led to World War 1. Starting genetic engineering could lead to the same thing. This broad, risky idea will spread throughout countries and cause all different kinds of people, organizations, or governments, to come up with drastic ideas that might trigger arguments between countries, weaponizing genetically modified lives, and never-ending tragic wars. Nobody would design their baby to be strong or a genius so that the child’s life could be sacrificed as a weapon for the country. They want their child to have a bright and set future and life. In conclusion, a life is not a specially designed clone you can control for your wicked cravings, but something you love, grow, and cherish.
Sabrina Kim St. Margaret’s Episcopal 7th Grade
<Sabrina Kim St. Margaret’s Episcopal 7th Grade