Genetic Engineering

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14 Δεκ 2012 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 10 μήνες)

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3/17/2013

Genetic Engineering

Major scientific developments


1970s: began the era of genetic
engineering using recombinant DNA

Some Vocabulary Terms


Genetic Engineering
: Cutting DNA from one
organism into small fragments and
inserting the fragments into a host
organism of the same or a different species


Recombinant DNA
: DNA made by combining
fragments of DNA from different sources


Transgenic Organisms
: Living organisms
that contain functional recombinant DNA


Major scientific advancements


1990s: the Human Genome Project provided


gene
-
chromosome mapping


DNA sequencing of genes

Gel scan showing the
arrangement of
chromosomes within a
cell

Applications of genetic
technology


Industry


Bacteria to manage industrial waste &
pollution

Applications of genetic
technology


Agricultural


Genetically
modified plants
that are resistant to
disease, frost, etc.


Bt corn (resists
pests)


Flavor Savr tomato
(resists rotting)


Gold rice (adds
vitamin A)

Applications of genetic
technology


Medicine


Recombinant DNA
technology used
to produce human
insulin, vaccines,
& other medicines

Applications of genetic
technology


Diagnostic
--

genetic screening and testing


Carrier screening


Prenatal diagnosis


Diagnosis of presymptomatic genetic
diseases (e.g., Huntington’s disease, PKU)


Diagnosis for genetic predispositions to
diseases (e.g., breast cancer, Alzheimer's
disease)

Applications of genetic
technology


Human reproduction


In Vitro Fertilization (“test tube baby”)


Cloning

Applications of genetic
technology


Human genetic
manipulation:


Genetic therapy
vs. genetic
enhancement


somatic vs. germ
-
line therapy

Gene therapy vs. genetic
enhancement


Therapy: correction of a
genetic disease


Enhancement: enhance
human abilities


Should we use genetic
technology to enhance
traits like intelligence,
memory, or physical
strength?

Somatic vs. germ
-
line therapy


Somatic: affects only the existing person,
not passed on.


Germ
-
line: changes that will be passed on


Should we allow changes only to existing
beings, or should we allow changes that
will affect future generations?

Arguments against genetic
technology


Moral concerns


Negative biological consequences


Negative social consequences

Moral concerns


Genetic engineering
violates the sacred
limits of the natural
order.


Should we seek to
be a species that is
“able to upgrade its
own operating
system”? (Shenk,
248)

Moral concerns


Genetic
engineering treats
children as
products


Does the ability to
control the
characteristics of
future
generations limit
their freedom?

Negative biological
consequences


Genetic
engineering will
reduce genetic
diversity


We may create
people or things
we cannot control

Negative social consequences


Genetic technology may be used to serve
the ruling interests


Genetic technology may lead to genetic
discrimination and undermine
confidentiality/privacy


Genetic technology may lead to increased
discrimination against the disabled


Unequal access to genetic technology may
lead to greater social inequality

Genetics, choice, and
responsibility


With greater knowledge and power comes
greater responsibility


Is it possible to know too much?


Do couples have an obligation to undergo
genetic testing, prenatal diagnosis, etc? What
should they do with the information?


How will the ability to detect predispositions to
conditions impact how we view responsibility
for health?

Deciding despite uncertainty


We do not know what all the consequences
of genetic technology will be


There is potential for great benefit and
great harm


Where should the burden of proof lie?


On those who promote genetic technology?


On those who want to limit genetic
technology?

The End