Genetic Engineering

taxmanstrongBiotechnology

Dec 11, 2012 (4 years and 10 months ago)

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// genetic engineering
Term
Definition
Gene Therapy
Introduction of a beneficial gene into a patient (ex: through a virus)
Gene Addition
Gene therapy technique used on more mature humans affecting only the patient
Germ Line Therapy
Early form of gene therapy (sperm, egg, or embryo) and transmitted to future generations
Gene Replacement
A defective gene is surgically removed and replaced with a normal gene
Ex Vivo Gene Therapy
Gene therapy done outside the body by taking cells out, modifying them and replacing them
In Vivo Gene Therapy
Gene therapy done inside the body
Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT)
The process of transferring a somatic cell nucleus into an enucleated egg (an egg without a
nucleus) and stimulating the new egg to divide.
Embryonic Stem Cells
Those cells in the hollow of the blastocyst that have the capacity to turn into any type of cell
Eugenics
The process of altering human genetics in the attempt to improve future generations
Pharming
Using the mammary glands of farm animals to produce larger quantities of medicine
Possibilities (Theoretical and Otherwise) of Genetic Engineering
• Curing diseases
• Creating patient-specific human stem cells to produce any tissue in the body
• Cloning a human
• Choosing or enhancing human traits (eye color, height, intelligence, body structure, etc.)
• Creating superior food or fuel sources
• Testing (even pre-implantation) for genetic defects to help parents prepare for the child or to help them decide to terminate the pregnancy
• Producing medicines in animal milk to treat diseases
Reasons for Cloning
Recent Films Related to Genetic Engineering
• Infertility treatments
• Medical and scientific research
• Tissue match/bone marrow transplants
• Replacing a child
• Organ farming
• Selling embryos
• Reproductive freedom
• Immortality of sorts
• Eugenics
• Avoidance diseases
• Understanding the child better and thus be a better parent
• Gattaca
• Godsend
• The Boys from Brazil
• Blade Runner
• Multiplicity
• Aeon Flux
• The 6
th
Day
• Die Another Day
• X-Men series
• Star Wars Episode
• Jurassic Park series
General Arguments Against Cloning
• There is a tremendously high rate of failure currently
• There could be immense psychological problems with having the same genes as another
• The clone would probably be compared to the donor
• It could be bad for the survival of the species to rid ourselves of certain genes that might prove to be beneficial or necessary for survival
• Technically, there would only be one parent for each clone
• Would someone really want a child who is genetically identical to another person or is it more likely that someone would want just a few
characteristics of another?
• It would enable gay and lesbian couples to produce offspring genetically similar or identical to at least one of the partners
• There are risks involved with cloning that we do not understand nor will we until years after it occurs
• The clone does not have consent to be a clone
• There could be an issue in confusing identity and individuality
Reference(s)

Kass, Leon R. and James Q. Wilson. The Ethics of Human Cloning. Washington, D.C.: The AEI Press, 1998.
Rae, Scott B. Moral Choices: An Introduction to Ethics, 2
nd
ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000.
“Glossary of Terms.” Human Cloning and Human Dignity: An Ethical Inquiry. Internet; available from http://bioethics.gov/reports/cloningreport/glossary.html;
accessed 21 October 2006.