The Need for Policy Makers to Regulate Human Genetic Engineering

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Human genetic engineering (HGE), a prevalent topic for scientists in research, is the process of manipulating genes in the human genome. Potentially, scientists can use the process of HGE to alter many biological and psychological human traits by gene modification. Currently, however, there is a large deficiency in information regarding HGE and its effects to the human body; creating a need for scientists to conduct more research and tests. Because of the many unknowns involving HGE it is necessary for policy makers to regulate HGE for the use by scientists. The first part of this paper will provide an overview of what HGE is and the processes involved with the technology of HGE. This paper will then analyze the potential risks associated…show more content…
Gyngell’s article analyzes the potential for HGE to increase the human life span, while providing a description of the process of HGE and predicting that HGE may eliminate disease via gene selection. Both of these articles provide credible and informative arguments that illustrate many different aspects of the potential impacts of HGE. HGE modifies the genomes of humans to produce a specific phenotype (a set of observable characteristics of an organism) or genotype (genetic constitution of an organism) that embodies desirable characteristics [1]. Therefore, HGE differs from archaic processes of selective breeding and artificial selection because it directly alters genes. The main focuses of HGE research are genes that code for immunity, cognitive abilities, and psychological mentality. The use of HGE in gametes and early development embryos is of particular interest to scientists because of its potential to grant them control over heritable traits. This ability can have great impact on the future of evolution because it provides humans with the control of the production of combinations of genes that would otherwise be unachievable. The potential for this level of control creates a need for regulation by policy makers, who have an obligation to consider the risks, and the benefits that coincide with the future of HGE. The development of more information and technology continues to increase the potential for scientists to manipulate complex
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