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Human genetic engineering - Research Paper Example

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To some, this development brings hopes of human enhancement and futuristic therapy, but to some, it generates fears of corruption of human…
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Human genetic engineering
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Download file to see previous pages Human genetic engineering, HGE refers to a process where medical professionals and scientists interfere with the DNA or genetic makeup of a human cell. Ideally, this process aims at fixing defective genes that have the potential of causing diseases or other genetic complications (Berry 5). Hanna refers to this as genetic enhancement and acknowledges it as the process where genetic material would be transferred for the modification of non-pathological human traits. The institute further argues that the term entails not just making humans well, but rather better than well, by optimizing their capabilities and attributes. This could be accomplished through insertion of a foreign gene into an organism that is virus-like. Thereafter, this organism would be introduced to the human cells thus inserting the new gene into the subject’s genome.
Three applications have been used for HGE. Somatic engineering would target specific genes in the given tissues and organs without interfering with the genes occurring in the sperm or eggs (Koops et al. 19). This application aims at treating an existing condition without altering the entire genetic makeup of an individual. On the other hand, germline engineering targets the genes in embryos, sperm or eggs at the early development stages. Thus, this genetic modification affects the cells in the body of the developing embryo that are created afterwards. If the individual sires offspring, such genes would be passed onto the new generation. Finally, cloning could also be applied in HGE in three different ways as given by Berry (24). DNA cloning, also referred to as recombinant DNA technology, involves the transferring of DNA fragment from an organism onto an element that is self-replicating so that the DNA replicates itself in the foreign host cell. To generate an organism with the same DNA as an existing organism, then reproductive cloning would be used. Finally, therapeutic ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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