Synthetic biology can be a somewhat controversial topic, some argue that it is “going against nature” and some argue that it helps us discover and create new things. It is important to consider what life actually is, the pros and cons of synthetic biology, and the morals behind it.
The acceptability of a certain form of technology can either be based on whether or not it improves the lives of humans and whether or not it is considered part of the social norm. It stands to reason that Genetic engineering can be accepted and subsequently refined to evolve the human race, as shown with its ability to improve quality of life through advancements in agriculture and medicine. Genetic engineering is the manual modification of an organism’s genetic composition by artificial means in order to transfer the specific traits, genes from one organism into a plant or animal of an entirely different species; in order to add a trait that would not normally be found within the species of the specific organism. According to Dr. Ron Epstein, professor of family medicine, psychiatry and oncology, Genetic engineering is a completely new kind of science that concerns itself with changing nature itself on the most fundamental level whereas previous science aimed to understand how nature works. As a result, there is a lot of controversy and worry stemming from the potential risk of bringing chaos and destruction to society that comes from the implementation of Genetic Engineering. Therefore, in order to come to an agreement on whether or not the benefits of Genetic Engineering are greater than the risks both sides of the argument must be weighed equally.
The main reason for investigating the ethics of genetic engineering is to ensure that we as a society have a set of rules that we do not break as doing so would create abominations.
Genetic engineering has to do with manipulating organisms and DNA to create body characteristics. The practice of genetic DNA has shown an increasing amount over the past years. The process of genetic enhancement involves manipulating organisms by using biotechnologies. The technique is by removing a DNA from one life form and transferring it to another set of traits or organism. Certain barriers are conquered, and the procedure involves changing a form of cells, resulting from an improvement or developed organism. GMO which is a (Genetic Modified Organisms) is the operation done in a laboratory where DNA genetic from one particular species or animals is directly forced into another gene from an unrelated subject of plants or even animals.
Seven months before the publish of Escape from Spiderhead, the first artificial life was created in US. Unlike Dolly the sheep, this is not the kind of artificial life from cloning but is created out of nothing but an “an entirely synthetic genome that was constructed from chemicals in the laboratory” (Sample). This finding has caused great reaction from the public and doubtlessly the experiment was challenged with “morality” and “playing god”. It is not difficult to image that there must be people who jump out and shout for their worries of any possible uncontrolled cases. According
DNA stands for Deoxyribonucleic acid. Deoxyribonucleic corrosive is an atom that conveys a large portion of the hereditary guidelines utilized as a part of the improvement, working and propagation of all known living creatures and numerous infections. The National Institutes of Health and Welcome Trust from the London UK and Craig Vendor of Celera Genomics from Maryland USA at the same time exhibited the grouping of human DNA in June of 2000, finishing the first significant attempt of the Human Genome Project (HGP) (Ridley 2). As researchers connection human attributes to qualities fragments of DNA found on one or a greater amount of the 23 human
So, too, related controversies over the benefits and costs, the legality and morality, of biotechnical innovations in reproductive technologies, genetic engineering, and cloning, to say nothing of the ecological consequences of new biological, chemical, and nuclear weaponry that constitute central preoccupations in contemporary society.” (Nature p.234).
“We can change animals faster and in more profound ways than nature does on its own, but the point is that there’s inherently sacred about a species genome- it’s an amorphous, ever changing thing.”(Anthes, 48) One of the biggest controversies of biotechnology is that people are getting God-like powers seems how now scientists are able to engineer new traits into animals. Is that wrong? Morally, maybe. The fact of the matter is whether it’s immoral or not, we’ve been doing it for thousands of years, but now just faster and actually more efficiently. Scientists don’t plan on worsening animals or abusing them. “If you’re going to modify a line of animals, the resultant animals should be no worse off from a welfare point of view – and preferably better.”(Bernard Rollin) If nations eventually accept biotechnology more openly, and simply apply regulations stating that one cannot produce an organism that is not better off than it was before. That would ensure the protection of animals from unnecessary handicapped lives, and then the FDA would be more comfortable with allowing these biotechnological advances to be released to the
Since the beginning of organized government there has always been a clash between science and politics. Whether it is as complicated as a new drug's detainment of federal approval or whether it is as commonplace as the social acceptance of a new medical procedure, politics has performed an integral part in the formation of science; this integrated unit is what greatly affects most of the society at large. Thus, it is no surprise the scientific discussion of genetic engineering is peppered with political rhetoric.
Genetic engineering is a powerful tool that can be used to accomplish a multitude of tasks. From species population control to ensuring certain traits in a human baby, there isn’t a lot that genetic engineering can’t do. It is becoming more and more acceptable to genetically engineer organisms as our knowledge on the subject grows. There have been experiments manipulating entire ecosystems by introducing a genetically modified organism into it. It’s even possible to change tiny details all the way down to the color eyes a child has. However these developments are not without controversy. Many people claim that changing the genetic make-up of a living being is playing God, and are against it. The works of Kiera Butler, John J. Conley, Ronald Bailey, and Simon Wallace speak on the controversy as well as utility value of genetic engineering.
The ethical debate concerning biotechnological exploration into genetic cloning has created a monster in itself. A multitude of ethical questions arises when considering the effect of creating a genetically engineered human being. Does man or science have the right to create life through unnatural means? Should morality dictate these technological advancements and their effects on society? The questions and concerns are infinite, but so to are the curiosities, which continue to perpetuate the advancement of biotechnological science. In order to contemplate the effects that science can have on our society we can look back in history and literature to uncover the potentiality of our future
Social: There should be some sort of legal control/law that need to be placed on the company/group of scientists, so that in the event of an unforeseen consequence during the gene manipulation process such as mutations/diseases which is uncontrollable, they may be held liable. This would ensure society that they are trying to do the process properly and not follow any shortcuts. Furthermore, a review of the genetically modified product should be in place before it can be handled or distributed anywhere outside of the laboratory, again ensuring society that the transgenic mammals will do no harm.
Genetic engineering is currently the fastest growing and perhaps most controversial field of science. Genetic engineering is decoding and manipulating DNA to use for scientific and medical purposes. "The discovery that human cells can be grown in a petri dish has opened up breathtaking possibilities for curing disease - and a morass of ethical complications" (Allen 9).
A social issue that arises is whether it is ethical for scientists to use synthetic biology for personal commercial benefit? However, while socially relevant questions are important, asking questions like what is a cell will help readers understand the content of a specific topic. In this case, knowing the answers to questions such as what is a gene or its function in the human body help in further understanding synthetic biology? Another question may be how does DNA factor into our genes?
DNA are like legos, they work together to build the traits of living things. They are the building blocks of the body. Many scientists today have been figuring out different ways to manipulate, change, add, and subtract genes from the DNA in living things; this is process is called genetic engineering. Some of the living things being experimented on are live people, plants, and animals. Today scientists are debating on the morals of genetic engineering due to what the community thinks of it, because of the christian 's viewpoint of genetic engineering. To some christians it may pose a threat to their, but to others it may be a blessing or a gift. Genetic Engineering is a growing breakthrough in the science community. “Over the last 30 years, the field of genetic engineering has developed rapidly due to the greater understanding of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) as the chemical double helix code from which genes are made. The term genetic engineering is used to describe the process by which the genetic makeup of an organism can be altered using “recombinant DNA technology.” This involves the use of laboratory tools to insert, alter, or cut out pieces of DNA that contain one or more genes of interest.”(Pocket K No. 17) Scientist have yet to unlock the full potential of genetic engineering, but the information and the use they have found for it today has reached farther than anyone 's expectations.