The New Future
Technology has been growing at a tremendous rate. From the telephone, to the car, to the airplane, to the computer, and finally the internet. This is just a very brief history of technology, but it shows how much it has benefited us. The sole purpose of technology is to improve the lives of society. The next addition to the technology time-line will be genetic engineering. Although we are very hindered in the knowledge of genetic engineering because of ethical reasons, the known possibilities are endless. It can solve many of the earth’s problems, medically and agriculturally. Lack of knowledge about this subject has people scared and close-minded. Physicist and historian of modern science, Gerald Holton, said, modern men and women “who do not know the basic facts that determine their very existence, functioning, and surroundings are living in a dream world are, in a very real sense, not sane.” If people were more aware of the possibilities of genetic engineering, they would be more open to the endless line of improvements it can bring. Therefore, the most important goal of technology should be to explore all the possibilities of genetic engineering and make them a reality.
Genetic engineering is a very broad topic. It covers many directions in changing the genetic material in a living organism. Merriam and Webster define it as the use or manipulation of an individuals genetic material in order to produce desired characteristics or results in the same individual, other individuals of the same species, or other species. When people hear the words genetic engineering they automatically think cloning. Cloning is just one of the aspects that will improve society. Genetic engineering branches out over many aspects of life. It covers medicine, agriculture, the economy, and even court cases.
The first area that genetic engineering will improve is medicine. Genetic cloning has led to many new discoveries in the treatment of AIDS, cancer, cystic fibrosis, and even neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. By studying diseases at a molecular level, scientists can find the cause of the disease. A therapeutic gene that helps cure the diseases listed above has been added to the list of possibilities under genetic engineering. Genetic cloning has also improved the possible reduction of cancerous tumors. By inserting healthy genes to replace defective or missing genes, the cancer cells could be slowed enough to stop the spread of cancer. Another possibility of cloning would be the creation of new organs for someone who is in need of a transplant. The organ could be cloned from someone matching the person’s type. This allows the person to get the organ they need without waiting for a replacement. Scientists can also study narcotic addiction at a molecular level and get a betting understanding of it. This will allow them to treat people efficiently who have become addicted to drugs. Genetic engineering also allows scientists to study the genetic makeup of people in the past by studying their blood and DNA.
The second aspect of life that genetic engineering will improve is agriculture. Scientists can administer new hormone into livestock in order to increase the production of milk and meat. Cows can be genetically engineered to produce more milk. Crops could be engineered to grow in all conditions. In theory this will wipe out food shortages all together. Our economy will grow in the long run because farmers will only produce and sell the finest foods. Also, we can save many endangered species by cloning them and making them more abundant. Scientists can also decrease the chance of animals becoming overpopulated. Plants can also be administered to make natural insecticides. A scientist can insert a protein into the genetic makeup of a plant. This protein is hazardous to insects. When the insect ingests the protein after it has taken a bite out of the plant it will die. Scientists can also inject a gene into plants that will protect it from infection. It would work the same way as a human vaccine. They could also add proteins and minerals to the genetic makeup of the plant so that they are healthier to eat for humans. Farmers readily use herbicides to kill weeds. Unfortunately, this herbicide kills the plant also. Through genetic engineering a scientist can administer a gene that allow the plants to be resistant to the herbicide. Genetic engineering in agriculture will greatly improve our economy. It will make farming productivity increase, it will make food healthier, and it will lower the costs of production and consumption.
Genetic engineering can also be used in the court-room. For years courts have been using fingerprints to match criminals to their crime. Just recently a new method of identification has been accepted, DNA, the genetic fingerprint. This can be used to match a murderer to a crime or even a father to its baby. Each person has a different code of DNA. This makes vitually impossible for a murderer to cover up his tracks. The military is now keeping DNA records of all of its members. It is used in many aspects of identification now. This is just another of the possibilities that genetic engineering can emanate.
Even though genetic engineering can be so helpful, people are still scared and skeptical about the ethical aspect of the science. People fear that gene altered food could harm them. Genetic engineering can also make products safer for people to eat. People also fear that we may be altering nature’s natural course. This may be a new discovery provided by nature. Everything we discover is provided to us by nature. For example, the airplane. Nature showed us how a bird flew. We studied the bird and eventually we developed our own flying device. If nature didn’t want us to discover genetic engineering then it never would have showed us the possibility.
Genetic Engineering should be the main goal of technology because it can help the world in many aspects. If become more informed of this new science, then they could better understand the benefits it will bring and the low danger that is involved. Genetic engineering should be allowed to continue so that future scientists will learn the positives and negative involved in genetic engineering. The government should also regulate the process of genetic engineering. It can help us tremendously but it can also hurt us, so there should be some regulation. In genetic engineering the positives out weigh the negatives. Therefore genetic science should be allowed to continue but only through strict supervision of the government. Who know? Maybe this new discovery will lead to another scientific revolution that will change are lives for the better.