the social and economic impacts of genetic engineering, and what the future may hold for this expanding field
|Scooped by Ezra Bychutsky|
Recombinant DNA is defined as, the joining of natural and synthetic DNA segments to create a cellular DNA that can replicate within a living cell. The DNA recombinant branch of genetic engineering is heavily regulated by various governmental organizations because if the potential for the creation of genetic codes that may be devastating to various populations of organisms. Recombinant DNA has resulted in the creation of several viruses and fungal bacteria that have been engineered to resists antibiotics and the body’s immune system. As a result the National Institution of Health has created four categories in which to label recombinant DNA.
Risk Group 1 (RG1)
Agents that are not associated with disease in healthy adult humans
Risk Group 2 (RG2)
Agents that are associated with human disease which is rarely serious and for which preventive or therapeutic interventions are often available
Risk Group 3 (RG3)
Agents that are associated with serious or lethal human disease for which preventive or therapeutic interventions may be available (high individual risk but low community risk)
Risk Group 4 (RG4)
Agents that are likely to cause serious or lethal human disease for which preventive or therapeutic interventions are not usually available (high individual risk and high community risk)
Within risk groups 2-4 are numerous bacterial, fungal, parasitic, viruses, and Prions all of which may be lethal if humans are exposed. This illustrates the destructive power that recombinant DNA creates, with the ability to alter the properties of a virus or bacteria the door is open for the possibility of catastrophic genetically engineered plagues to devastate whole populations of organisms. Within the annals of recombinant DNA are Ebola Virus, Hemorrhagic Fever
genetic engineering poses a significant threat if allowed to precede unchecked. Genetic engineering leads the way for devastated discoveries, through genetic tagging and gene identification genetic engineers are close to being able to genetically modify a fetus. This would allow parents to choose the specific phenotypes of their decedents. The social implications of this technology are vast. Not only will genetic diversity greatly decrease as undesirable qualities and weeded out of various populations. People's lives will now be greatly dependent on the abilities genetically engineering into them at birth. For example the surgery profession will now be limited to those who posses greater eye sight and hand-eye coordination, which were genetically engineered into them at birth. With furthering unchecked genetic engineering the social-economic gap will only increase. Those who will be able to afford to genetically engineer their offspring will ensure that their decedents have a greater chance of getting a high-paying job. Those who cannot afford to genetically engineer their offspring will be at a great disadvantage and therefore cannot succeed in a high paying profession. With that comes the poor staying poor and the rich staying rich. All as a result of unchecked genetic engineering.
The major economic problem with the introduction of gentically modified organism is the fact that non-genetically modified orgamisms cannot compeite. This is especially true for the creation of canola oil and grains such as corn. Campanies invest in the creation of GMOs (Gentically Modofied Organisms)because by definition they are superior to naturally grown organisms. Although useful as a product there are many controversies that surround them. Such as campanies implimenting pattens concerning GMOs created by campanies. Farmers argue that no one can patten something the natural grows without regard for bounderies. On many cases a campany owned ranch will grow a GMO that is engineered to have seeds that travel longer distances, thus this GMO begins to grow in a foreign field owned by a rival farmer, the campony then sues the farmer for steeling property. This is an example of some of the clashes that occure when natural cycles are tampered with and used to exploit the legal and economic situations. Furthermore GMOs have a tendancy to corner the market as they were genetically engineered to be superior, as such no other product can compete with GMOs. As a result of this situation many local farmers have denounced GMOs because they cannot compete. This has spurred the rumors that GMOs are dangerous, or harmful to the environment neither of which has enough evidence to be considered true.