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Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsBiology · 1 decade ago

do you think genetic engineering is right. why?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    In this time of environmental crisis, genetic engineering and other new technologies should be examined for possible flaws that indicate they might be environmentally hazardous or disruptive. On an ecological balance sheet, genetic engineering should be credited with both assets and liabilities. Consider these hits and misses in biotechnology's history:

    * Toxic-waste cleanup -- a hit (potentially): Genetic engineering is now addressing the problem of toxic waste site cleanups by, for instance, modifying the genes of chemical-eating bacteria in order to improve their ability to detoxify waste. With many GM bacteria at work, a toxic site might be cleaned up less expensively than by using conventional treatments. Of course, field tests must be monitored carefully to detect unforeseen problems. The GM bacteria may be shown to be excellent performers, but it is also possible that natural bacteria may have the edge over their modified brethren.

    * Nitrogen fixing -- a miss: Finding a way to use nitrogen-fixing bacteria more extensively has been a dream shared by many biologists. The bacteria colonize near the roots of alfalfa and other legume plants, and they provide their hosts with nitrogen obtained from the air. Corn, wheat, and other crops that do not have a symbiotic relationship with bacteria require applications of nitrogen fertilizer. Using genetic engineering, scientists tried to develop nitrogen-fixing bacteria that would live contentedly with non-legume host plants. Some experimental trials in the laboratory were somewhat promising, but field trials failed. The research was discontinued.

    * Safer pest control -- hits and misses: Insecticides used to protect field crops are expensive and environmentally hazardous. Geneticists have succeeded in helping plants produce their own insect-killing toxin. From the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, they obtained a toxic gene, which they cloned and then transferred to plants. Cotton and corn genetically engineered with the Bt toxin genes are able to produce their own insecticide.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Good question. It needs a lot of writing and maybe it is an essay you were requested to write(?)

    It depends on how you use it. It's just a tool.

    You can cut your food with a knife, operate and save people with a scalpel, but you can also kill with a knife or a sword.

    Fire can be used for cooking, heating, melting metals,etc but also for destroying. Would you prefer living in a world in which people were still unable to harness the power of fire?

    Genetic engineering has been happening in an indirect way since the beginning of agriculture. The difference is that nature was doing random mutations at an extremely slow pace and mankind was selecting plants which suited it best. This cycle was going on and on, changing very slowly the plants that were being cultivated.

    At some point science discovered the role of DNA. Scientists started mutating randomly the DNA of organisms with chemicals or radation until the desired property popped up by chance.

    Now that we know more about the molecular mechanisms underlying the various properties of the organisms we can target directly the desired property and change it within reasonable time, instead of waiting for centuries or several decades for it to happen.

    Genetic engineering literally saved people with diabetes. Insulin used to be extracted from animals and therefore was extremely expensive and difficult to produce in sufficient quantities for everybody. Scientists managed to engineer bacteria which were producing tons of easily purified insulin making it available to all.

    On the other hand you must be careful with what and how you are experimenting...Messing around with viruses, pathogens, higher vertebrates can have detrimental consequences.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Genetic engineering is a tool. Just like other tools/technologies, like fire, the telephone, and atomic energy, it is not intrinsically right nor wrong. It is how we choose to use a tool, according to our cultural sense of ethics/morals, that is right or wrong.

    Is it dangerous? Nature has been experimenting with genetic engineering for billions of years, and yes sometimes with drastic consequences. But our experiments are like a pop-gun in comparison. How likely is it that we can come up with something more dangerous than nature? Not likely in my view.

    Is genetic engineering (or any other technology) "playing god"? Only the gods can answer that, and so far they ain't sayin'.

    Source(s): Richard Feynman's "The Value of Science", found in his book, "What Do You Care What Other People Think"
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  • 1 decade ago

    because if everybody were like you we will still be inventing the weel and sharing the fire in the caves

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