Is genetic modification stripping us of our natural identity?

 

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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons / Alan Liefting

By Caroline Cho

Present-day scientific advances have made it possible for society to manipulate genes and modify genetic instruction. Each new gene can provide resistance to certain diseases and even strengthen the cell’s primary functions. With this ability to manipulate, genetic modification has endless possibilities and consequences. However, the overall possibilities outweigh the consequences.

One example lies in the New Hope Fertility Center in New York where genetic scientists successfully created a baby boy from three parents. This birth symbolized a momentous breakthrough in scientific history.

By successfully creating a “super” baby whose characteristics originate from three different parents, genetic scientists are one step closer to producing a human being with the ability to fight off diseases.

Proponents of genetic modification emphasize the significance of developing ways to reduce human suffering through the alteration of DNA codes. Opponents of genetic modification on the other hand argue that these scientists who work with DNA and genetic modification immorally assume the role of God in the creation of living things.

These opponents argue that altering a human’s genes without knowing if there will be any negative side-effects as well as possibly risking a human life for the sake of scientific experimentation is immoral.

Nevertheless, the benefits of genetic modification are significant and imperative. Through genetic modification, scientists manipulate certain sections of DNA strands and insert new genetic codes in order to create or eliminate certain characteristics in an organism. This applies not only to humans, but animal and plant life as well.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), genetic modification is a powerful way for commercial industries to incorporate desirable traits into animals using recombinant DNA technology.

Granted, when organisms are created through genetic modification, problems arise. In essence, we are defying natural laws and tampering with the hereditary orders of life.
Although genetically-modified organisms are not “natural,” we must push ourselves to the extremity for the benefit of the people who seek medical attention. If we do not at the least attempt to do the impossible, we can never progress.

If we look past all the controversy, it is imminent that genetic modification will gear our society towards a more technologically-advanced future. We are already in the process.
In other words, with each new medication and genetic breakthrough, we are rapidly changing the way in which we view the world and our place in it. While it is necessary that we make sure that we are responsibly maintaining a healthy environment, progress is important too.

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Author: Plaid Press

Granada Hills Charter High School newspaper

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