The Pros And Cons Of Genetic Engineering

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Genetic engineering is one of the most controversial areas of science. It is the process of changing an organism's (bacteria, plants, animals etc) genetic code to either stop otherwise permanent diseases or to give individual beneficial traits or characteristics. Many people believe that it is unethical to alter the genes of a human being, however,I feel that it may be one of the greatest advances of the human race that have been put on hold because of public outcry due to a lack of knowledge on the subject.

As a matter of fact, humans have been engineering life for thousands of years, to strengthen desired characteristics in plants and animals. This was achieved through selective breeding. humans would hand-pick plants and animals that had traits that were beneficial to them and breed them together. Over many generations the desired traits become exaggerated and the resulting organism will very different from its pre domesticated ancestors. While this is considered to be completely acceptable in today's society, in a way it is essentially a much slower and less efficient form of genetic engineering. This is because in selective breeding the outcome is based on chance, whereas genetic engineering eliminates this factor as scientists can directly choose the traits they want by editing the genome themselves. Want to make fruit grow bigger with an immunity to disease and a built in non-toxic insecticide? Not a problem. So why hasn't genetic engineering been used before now?

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