The Pros and Cons of Gene Alteration Essay

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The Pros and Cons of Gene Alteration Abstract A new epidemic in human reproduction is slowly sweeping the earth, and it is known as human gene alteration. It gives parents the ability to decide their babies' sex, hair color, or even eye color. Creating these so called "designer babies" seems like the perfect way to have the child you have always dreamed of. But is this a moral way to go about reproduction? Is it fair to these children to mess with their genes just for your own satisfaction of having the perfect baby? Gene alteration can also be used in other more beneficial ways. One being to prevent and weed out disease that effects an unborn child. Gene alteration can be very beneficial, but only if used in the right way such as…show more content…
This method enables the parents of a fetus to pretty much control everything that goes on in a baby's development in the womb. Gene alteration can be done for both therapeutic reasons or for cosmetic reasons (Sofer, 1991). Therapeutic Gene Manipulation Therapeutic genetic manipulation is preformed by doctors to prevent diseases that the baby is carrying. The baby is tested by screening the embryo for any possible unknown diseases. Sometimes the PGD or preimplantation genetic diagnosis technique is used for this ("Biotechnology special focus"). The main diseases PGD is used to test for in babies are Hunntington's disease, Tay-sacks, Alzheimers, Familia cancers, Sickle Cell disease, Hemophilia, Neurofibromatosis, Fanconi's Anemia, Cystic fibrosis and most recently, Down's Syndrome ("Hooray for designer babies", 2002). This technique involves removing the unfertilized egg from the female, mating it with a sperm and then testing it for diseases. If all the diseases are absent, the fertilized egg is planted into the mother's uterus to develop into a baby. Some other unpredictable diseases may also be carried in the baby's chromosomes. Chromosome carrying diseases and disorders include: miscarriage of the baby, physical birth defects or down syndrome (Biotechnology special focus"). Some babies may also be at high risk of disease because of their family history. The doctor can go in and alter the disease carrying gene and end it for good. This method would stop
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