Seq2 StudentEsaayJLe..

burgerutterlyBiotechnology

Dec 11, 2012 (4 years and 4 months ago)

155 views

1


Genetic Engineering:
A Safe Solution?

Throughout the course of human development there have been musically, intellectually
and artistically gifted people
; including

Beethoven, Stephen Hawking and Van Gogh.
Each of
these individuals

has

or had genetic defec
ts.
In the case that
their parents opted for genetic
engineering, altering genes in an embryo

or person
, they

most likely

would

not have possessed
these gifts.
Some organizations, such as the Coalition on
Revival (COR)
,

believe

that genetic
engineering is
beneficial.
As stated by COR in
The
Christian
World V
iew of Medicine
, article
39a, “We affirm that alterations of human genes before or after birth should be strictly limited to
the correction of clearly defined disease or deformity when sufficient evidenc
e exists that the
potential benefit to the person clearly outweighs any harmful effects or the possibility of death.”

However,
I disagree

with genetic engineering
, because
I have found that

even though

immediate
offspring

may

benefit
, they and

generations
after can
still
suffer severe
consequences.


Genetic engineering allows children to have the potential of being ‘normal’, and for a
paren
t thinking in the present, there is nothing that can outweigh
erasing a lifetime of suffering
for both
t
hem and their c
hild.

For instance,
Katie Trebing was born with Diamond Blackfan
anemia
,
a disease that prevents bone marrow

from producing

red blood cells. At her birth, her
parents were informed that she would not live past 40 years

because of

the side
effects from

the
required

treatment. They only had one cure, to genetically engineer another sibling and
transplant healthy
DNA

into Katie
’s cells
. For three years they watched their daughter suffer
day
in and

day

out
,
until

they
decided to have a genetically engineered ch
ild.
When her brother was
one year of age, he underwent surgery to extract healthy DNA that was then transplanted into
Katie

(
Javid, F., 2007
)
.
After fourteen months s
he was cured, but at what cost?

In the process of
2


transplanting DNA segments into her cel
ls, another, possibly worse, defect could have
been the
outcome
.

By undergoing this procedure

and others like it
,

patients

are

not only at risk for worse
defects, but
their

offspring are at risk for potentially paralyzing consequences.


During the DNA
transplant process, there is no way of controlling where
healthy

DNA
will
insert

itself in
the defected
DNA

sequence
.

It is like fishing in the ocean, you know how to
cast a line, the only problem is that you do not know if you are casting into a forest of

kelp, or a
school of fish.

In both cases, the outcome is unknown until the action is taken. Because of this,
t
he process of genetic engineering, extracting segments of human DNA from a cell and inserting
them into the cell of another
being
,
is a practice
that
yields multiple risks
.

For instance,
researchers once though that disorders were caused by specific genes. Later, they

found that

the
cause of
Angelman syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes mental retardation, severely
limited speech, balance
problems and movement problems,
is

a single mutation in a
‘housekeeping’ gene, UBE3A
.
A housekeeping gene is a gene that has no specific purpose, but
without it other genes could not function correctly.
When they tried to ‘fix’ the gene, they caused
more c
omplications in the mice they tested on. The mice no longer produced vital proteins and
had multiple severe seizures.

"The most difficult thing to rationalize was that this housekeeping
gene
--

which nobody thought did anything
--

caused severe mental reta
rdation," said Weeber, an
assistant professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics and Pharmacology

(
Science Daily,
2007
).

What if the healthy gene ins
erted itself in the wrong place and caused

mental retardation
in a patient?
The patient could potential
ly end up with both disorders and no

way to further ‘fix’
the outcome

(
Anderson, K., 2002
)
.





Another risk
taken by patients

that undergo genetic engineering take is getting
another mutation that causes
Mitochondrial H
eteroplasmy
. This

causes cells to co
ntain two
3


types of mitochondria in a single cell. This mutation has the potential to cause nine different
diseases, all of which cause muscle weakness, vision problems,
loss of coordination and
epilepsy.

The onset of symptoms for Mitochondrial Heteroplasmy

occurs at any time, even into
late adulthood (
Hesterlee, S., 2004
). This means that patients, such as Katie, may not even know
if she has this disorder until symptoms occur.


Mitochondrial Heteroplasmy

not only
has the potential to
affect the immediate p
atient,
but

may affect

their offspring for generations to come (
Hesterlee, S., 2004
).
In performing
human genetic engineering

in embryos
,

both somatic and gametic

(body and sex) cells
are
altered
.
H.J.J. Leenen

(1988)
, a professor at the University of Amst
erdam, wrote, “We must not
go gene
-
shopping for future generations. We could limit and endanger the development of the
human race
…”

The gene pool will only get smaller and smaller as healthy genes from a limited
source are implanted into large populations.

W
e may unknowingly affect a trait that helps defend
the human body from infections
; by altering genes that may end up having multiple uses, like the
housekeeping gene
.

If this occurs, a large population could be infected by a now fatal infection
due to la
ck of immunity. Hospitals will be filled with patients with similar symptoms
.

A
pandemic would occur. This is how my great
-
aunt viewed the 1918 flu pandemic that infected
one
-
third of the world’s population

(
Taubenberger, J. & Morens, D., 2006
)
.

With a li
mited gene
pool, faulty traits and lack of immunity will be passed down from generation to generation. In
altering genes, unaccounted for defects could make the human population susceptible to nearly
any infection with no means to a cure.


By preventing g
enetic engineering from happening, both the risk of further harming a
patient and their decedents are abolished
. As said by H.J.J Leenen (1988), “…the log
-
term
consequences of our biological decisions are by definition out of our reach and we would cut of
f
4


possibilities which are essential for future generations to survive.”
In allowing genetic
engineering to occur, brilliant people may never walk the earth,
children and adults alike may
end up more sick than before, and the human population
as

a whole
may

be less able to

fight
infections.




Work cited:


Payne, E., Reed, W., Grimstead, J., Min, D., Beisner, C. (1999).
The christian world view of

Medicine.
Sunnyvale, CA: The Coalition on Revival, Inc.


Javid, F. (2007, January 21). Rare bone marrow disease

with only one cure. Retrieved October


25, 2009, website:
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Story?id=4038908&page=3


Science Daily (2007, February 12). Genetic engineering cures mice of brai
n disorder. Retrieved


October 25, 2009, website:


http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070210170650.htm


Hesterlee, S. (2004). Mitochondrial myopathy: An energy crisis

in the cells Retrieved October


26, 2009, website:
http://www.mitoresearch.org/mitodiseases2.html


Anderson, K. (2002, July 14). Genetic engineering. Retrieved October 25, 2009, from Probe


Ministries website:
http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/gen
-
engr.html


Leenen, H. (1988). Genetic manipulation with human beings. In
Mappes, T., &
Zembaty, J.


(1991). Biomedical ethi
cs (pp. 539
-
544). United States of America: McGraw
-
Hill, Inc.


Taubenberger, J. & Morens, D. (2006, January). 1918 Influenza: The mother of all pandemics.


Retrieved October 26, 2009, from CDC website:


http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol12no01/05
-
0979.htm







Organization:


I chose to organize my paper with my strongest argument first, working down to my
weakest argument. I did this because the c
oncessio

was very persuasive against my
argument. I
refuted it with my strongest argument. Then I worked to an argument that was weaker with less
proof to back it up, although very possible nonetheless.

5



Means of Argumentation:


Factual data
-

pathos, logos

Definition
-

logos

Example
-

pathos, et
hos

Comparison
-

pathos, ethos

Factual data
-

logos

Expert testimony
-

pathos

Hypothetical
-

pathos

Definition
-

logos

Factual data
-

logos

Expert testimony
-

logos, pathos

Description
-

pathos

Personal testimony
-

logos

Expert testimony
-

logos, pathos